In Italy the regional election results promise us more of Mr Berlusconi, part of Nero's Palace has collapsed in rain and in the South we are all going to be swept away by a tsunami. What is more, British expats living here will not even be able to cheer themselves up by watching a bit of blood and gore in the TV series "Casualty" as they await Armageddon for, as I wrote here, Sky Italia removed the popular BBC Entertainment channel from its platform on 1st March.
Sky Italia, however, reckoned without the "spirit of the blitz" and the facebook group, "Bring Back BBC Entertainment" now has over 1,000 members who do not rest on their laurels but bombard Sky Italia with mail, emails and phone calls every day. Sky continue to claim that they were unable to reach an agreement on contract renewal with the BBC but, from correspondence members of the group have received from the BBC, it is quite clear which company is at fault! When Sky decided to add an Italian poker channel to its Italy platform group members were, to say the least, unimpressed.
Sky Italia quite simply does not wish to invest in quality programmes and assumes its subscribers are content with sport, sport and more sport, unpopular films and nonsense channels like the poker one. The company clearly does not listen to its customers and deserves to lose business, which it seems to be doing fast. I have been waiting for a promised phone call from Sky since the beginning of the month.
The BBC, on the other hand, has listened to its clientèle and is trying to find another platform for its entertainment programmes in Italy. Meanwhile, in response to requests from members of the facebook group and others, it has made the popular series "Eastenders" available on the internet. This is a great victory for the facebook group and I am happy for the "Eastenders" fans. My own addiction, however, is to the hospital dramas "Casualty" and "Holby City" so please, BBC, make these available on the internet too!
We are, of course, aware that there are other ways of receiving BBC programmes in Italy but they all cost money and I feel that I have paid Sky enough and have a contract with them which runs until September. I took the Sky package five years ago on the understanding that BBC Entertainment was part of it and I intend to fight on until I get it back.
If you are on facebook, do join the "Bring Back BBC Entertainment" group and help us fight an uncaring company which is totally unconcerned with quality.
A little of what I'm missing....