RAI operate a number of different television and radio channels including satellite with half the revenue coming from the television licence fee and half from advertising.
The most popular television channels are
- Rai 1 - general entertainment and family shows; it has plenty of news, football and Formula 1, game shows, light entertainment, chat shows and the like with few foreign programmes
- Rai 2 - younger audience; many foreign series (dubbed) and talent shows plus children's programming
- Rai 3 - alternative and local programmes; more left wing and controversial with political programming
Rai although they do broadcast a number of other more specialist channels including sport and educational channels. In addition there are channels for news, movies and for children.
RAI began in 1924 as a private company, Unione Radiofonica Italiana or UTI, which was part of the Marconi group. It developed over the next few years working in radio and then in 1954 it began broadcasting television from Milan with the first ever programme, Arrivi e Partenze, hosted by Armando Pizzo and Mike Bongiorno.
RAI is one of the 23 founding broadcasters of the European Broadcasting Union in 1950.
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