The Knesset Economic Affairs Committee on Monday approved a bill that would require cable and satellite television providers Hot and Yes to pay a combined NIS 5 million a year to carry local news channels.

The bill, which must still pass a second and third reading in the Knesset before becoming law, would institute the fee on a temporary basis for two years.

If passed, it will go into effect on April 22, and HOT and Yes will split the NIS 5m. fee in proportion to the number of subscribers each has. The price is considerably lower than that proposed by Labor MKs Merav Michaeli and Itzik Shmuli, who said the companies should pay NIS 18m. a year.

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