Born in 1974, Telemontecarlo was the first legal private television channel after a judgement of the Constitutional Court allowed the broadcasting of foreign frequencies into Italy. Beamed from the municipality of Monaco, it originally transmitted in two languages, Italian and French, and only reached north and central Italy. From the early 1980s it went through a long series of financial changes. First the RAI, and then Brazilian television Rede Globo and the Ferruzzi group gained control. At the same time, lacking a strong identity and consistent programming, it suffered in competition with Berlusconi’s Fininvest channels. The situation improved when Telemontecarlo decided to privilege sport, especially football, which was highlighted in the popular programme Galagoal (presented by showgirl Alba Parietti), and skiing, celebrating the victories of Alberto Tomba. In 1995 the channel was acquired by the Cecchi Gori Group, who united it with the music channel Videomusic, then named TMC 2, in an attempt to create a ‘third television pole’ along with RAI and Fininvest. A year later, in a stunning coup, Cecchi Gori acquired the rights to prime football broadcasting, taking these away from RAI for the first time in television history. However, after a legal battle, the rights were shared between them and, still in financial trouble, the channel’s future remains uncertain.