Channel 10 logo_311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The government will discuss ways to prevent Channel 10’s expected closure at the
end of the month, as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu instructed Justice
Minister Yaakov Neeman to postpone a Ministerial Committee on Legislation vote
on the issue on Sunday.
A bill submitted by opposition MKs Nachman Shai
(Kadima) and Eitan Cabel (Labor), which was meant to save the channel, was
frozen for two weeks, allowing the government to find its own solution, so the
country is not left with a single commercial-broadcast television
Shai and Cabel proposed that Channel 10 be able to spend the NIS
60 million it owes in royalties and franchise fees, on Israeli-produced
programming, instead of paying the Second Authority for Television and Radio,
which is responsible for Channels 2 and 10.
However, the Finance Ministry
opposes the legislation, for fear of setting a precedent for Channel 2
production company Reshet, which owes NIS 23m. to the Second
Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon said the government
must make sure Channel 10 does not shut down, adding that closing a television
station would contravene Likud values.
Thousands of families would be
harmed because of lost jobs if the channel shut down, he said.
also said that if Channel 10 stops broadcasting during a Likud government’s
tenure, it would be remembered as a “blatant and inappropriate political act”
that harmed democracy and transparency.
Opposition MKs have accused
Netanyahu of trying to force Channel 10 to close for political reasons, because
the prime minister is suing the station’s news program and reporter Raviv
Drucker for libel due to a report on foreign donors’ funding of flights
Shai said the fact that the government is discussing Channel 10
is a victory, because it had not done so before.
understood it cannot tighten it belt so much that the television station is
unable to survive, he added.