The history of Mediaset has deep roots: the began in the late '70s, when the entrepreneur Silvio Berlusconi founded a local cable TV channel called Telemilano in a new residential area.
Two years later, in 1980, it was transformed into Canale 5 and, thanks to regulatory modernisation, it began to broadcast across the country, something that had previously been forbidden by Italian law.
It was a big news for Italian viewers because the only national television broadcaster was Rai, a state-owned entity that ran a television monopoly with three channels.
In order to compete on an equal footing with public service TV, also the new private commercial television broadcaster created a three-channel hub: Canale 5 was joined first by Italia 1 (bought from the publisher Rusconi in 1982) and then by Retequattro (bought from the Arnoldo Mondadori publishing group in 1984).
This new television hub was called Rti (Reti televisive italiane) and was supported by an exclusive advertising sales company called Publitalia'80 and by two other companies: Videotime, that was responsible for the entire technological and production side, and Elettronica Industriale, which ensured the broadcasting of the television signal through the management of the transmission network.
The control of Rti, Publitalia, Videotime and Elettronica Industriale was then brought together under a single company, Mediaset: and the Mediaset Group was born.