Satellite TV operator Sky Italia has come to an agreement with Italian producers to increase investment in Italian cinema by 37%, increasing their actual investment from $28.8m (Euros 22m) to $45.9m (Euros 35m) annually.

Details of the rights purchasing agreement of local films - including how much exclusivity Sky can retain of national products - is still in discussion.

The agreement does not allow for the acquisition of non-satellite rights, such as IPTV or mobile phone viewing rights, in accordance with EU regulations set out when Sky took over two beleaguered national satellite platforms Tele Piu and Steam in 2003.

Sky can, however, negotiate new terms with the EU commission in light of the national television platform that continues to change. The original terms expire in 2011.

The Sky-Italian cinema producer's agreement also includes a clause allowing Sky to annul the investment increase if Italy introduces a hefty financing tax that would fall back on the networks and channels that air the films.

Sky's launch in 2003 was seen as a relief to many producers who had come to rely too heavily on RAI and Medusa (part of Berlusconi-operated Fininvest) for local product investment.