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.

2020

2020

  • On 23 April, a new investment by the Mediaset Group secures 24.9% of the voting rights of ProSiebenSat.1 Media, excluding its own shares, becoming the German broadcaster’s main shareholder.
  • On 5 August, the Board of Mediaset withdraws the MFE MEDIAFOREUROPE cross-border merger project at the end of a long legal dispute. 
  • On October, Mediaset sells the Mediashopping company, active in the sector of multi-channel remote sales, to Ortigia Investimenti in order to follow the plan to sell non-strategic activities.
2019

2019

  • On 30 May, Mediaset announces the purchase of 9.6% of the share capital of ProSiebenSat.1 Media, corresponding to voting rights of up to 9.9%. This friendly entry into the company’s shareholding consolidates the two concerns’ mutually profitable and operational relationship: Mediaset Italia and Mediaset España have long been allies of ProSiebenSat.1 as part of the European Media Alliance (Ema), an agreement that aims to develop economies of scale indispensable for the future of European TV.
  • On 7 June, the Boards of Directors of Mediaset Italia and Mediaset España approve a merger destined to create a new major international holding company: MFE, Media For Europe.
  • On 4 September, the Shareholders of Mediaset Italia and Mediaset España vote in favour of the cross-border merger.
2018

2018

  • Launch of two new free TVs, “Focus” and “20”, which bring the prime-time rating of Mediaset's free themed networks to 7.0%.
  • Acquisition and exclusive broadcasting of the 2018 World Cup Russia in Italy and Spain. For the first time in Italy, Mediaset is able to offer viewers the chance to watch all the matches live. And above all, free of charge. This has never happened before.
  • Launch of the new online platform, Mediaset Play. Since 2018, all Mediaset TV content has been accessible free of charge via the web platform Mediaset Play, a single destination that allows viewers to watch programs both live and on demand, both from TV screens and from PCs or mobile devices.
  • No longer offering a pay TV service, Mediaset maintains the role of editor of Premium pay TV channels available on every distribution platform.
2017

2017

  • Mediaset acquires a 5.5% stake in Studio 71, Europe's leading Multichannel Network - and one of the top five in the world - controlled by the German group ProSiebenSat.1Media. A joint venture, "Studio 71 Italia" is also set up, of which Mediaset has a 49% stake and through which the entire Italian business of Studio 71 is managed.
  • The Mediaset Board of Directors approves the Mediaset 2020 Plan, containing the development guidelines and 2017-2020 economic-financial objectives.
  • Mediaset acquires 100% of the free TV channel Retecapri, associated with LCN 20, Retecapri +1 (LCN 120), Retecapri HD (LCN 121).
  • Publitalia'80 and Publiespaña, together with TF1 (France) and ProsiebenSat1 (Germany), establish AdTech Ventures, which holds a 33% stake in the European Broadcaster Exchange (EBX) joint venture that operates in digital video programmatic advertising campaigns.
  • Mediaset's stake in Mediaset España increases to 51.63% as a result of share buybacks.
2016

2016

Mediaset and the French group Vivendi sign a binding contract for a strategic alliance through which Mediaset becomes the owner of 3.5% of the share capital of Vivendi while the latter acquires 100% of Mediaset Premium and 3.5% of the capital of Mediaset.
On the eve of the closing (25 July 2016) Vivendi announces its intention not to respect the commitments undertaken. Also in 2016, Mediaset creates Italy's leading group of radio stations in terms of both ratings and advertising.
The new company is named "RadioMediaset" and brings together the commercial radio stations  R101, Radio 105 and Virgin Radio and a partnership with Radio MonteCarlo.
2013

2013

The Mediaset Group launches Infinity, Italy's first OTT service, offering subscribers streaming access to a catalogue of more than 6,000 titles including films, TV series, TV drama and TV shows.
2011

2011

  • Mediaset Italia 2 begins broadcasting, the new free digital terrestrial network offers TV series, films, documentaries, cartoons, sports and entertainment selected for a young, mainly male audience.
  • Cartoonito is launched, a free digital terrestrial network for pre-school children (up to 6 years old). Cartoonito, like Boing, is the result of a joint venture between Mediaset and Turner Broadcasting System Europe Limited, and expands the Mediaset free offer for children and teenagers.
  • TgCom24 becomes an unencrypted all-news channel, live on channel 51 of the digital terrestrial platform, on channel 24 of the satellite platform and continues to operate online on the TgCom24.it site, on smartphones and tablets thanks to free downloadable apps.
2010

2010

  • Online debut of www.video.mediaset.it, a catch-up TV service that allows viewers to watch again, on demand, all of the Mediaset television programmes broadcast during the previous days.
  • The new NewsMediaset structure is created, an authentic internal news agency to provide images, news and services to all of Mediaset's news outlets.
  • On 12 May, Mediaset launches La5, a new free digital terrestrial network, broadcast 24 hours a day with content aimed mainly at the female audience.
  • On 26 November, Mediaset Extra is launched, a new free thematic channel dedicated to the retransmission of the best of past and present entertainment programmes form the Mediaset channels.
2009

2009

In Spain, Mediaset SpA., Gestevision Telecinco SA and Promotora de Informaciones SA (Prisa Group) announce the acquisition by Telecinco of a newly established company, which includes the business unit of Cuatro (a Spanish free-to-air television network owned by Sogecable SA,) and a 22% stake in Digital Plus. These operations make the Mediaset Group's the leading commercial television operator in Spain.
2008

2008

An agreement is signed for the acquisition of Taodue, Italys leading production company for quality fiction.
2007

2007

Mediaset acquires Medusa, Italy's leading production and distribution company and launch a new free digital terrestrial channel: Iris, a channel for great auteur films, music, literature and theatre.
2004

2004

Sees the launch in Italy of digital terrestrial TV, a system that makes it possible to transmit many more channels than the analogue system. Mediaset begins by launching Boing, a network for children, and Mediashopping, a guaranteed teleshopping channel.

2003

2003

Mediaset increases its stake in Telecinco becoming the major shareholder with a 50.1% stake. The following year, Spanish TV company is listed on the Madrid Stock Exchange.

1999

1999

The Group expands its activity to the web with Mediaset.it (a TV portal dedicated to Canale 5Italia 1 and Retequattro) and Mediaset Online (in 2001 it would become TgCom), an online news service, accessible across a range of media (the web, television, radio, Mediavideo teletext and mobile phones).

1997

1997

See the beginning of foreign expansion with the acquisition of a 25% stake in the Spanish private commercial broadcaster Telecinco.

1996

1996

Mediaset is listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, opening up the shareholding to major institutional and small private investors (around 300,000).