Taking on Rupert in Italy

Italian Prime Minister Silvo Berlusconi and Rupert Murdoch were always considered friendly rivals. They have even spent time together at Berlusconi's Sardinian villa. But the competition may be heating up. The Mediaset TV network, owned by the Berlusconi family, is taking direct aim at Murdoch's Sky Italia with an innovative attempt at poaching lucrative soccer viewers. As the world's first free TV network to offer pay-per-view sporting events, Mediaset surprised Murdoch & Co., whose satellite rights until recently meant an exclusive on top-flight matches. "We bought the whole cake, which has now become just a slice," a Sky executive griped. Mediaset...