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The broadcast schedule for Channel 2 franchises Reshet and Keshet was rejected by the Second Authority for Television and Radio's council on Monday. The production companies have until January 5 to submit new schedules. Channel 10 was expected to submit its schedule by the end of January.
At issue was the amount of reality TV slotted for the first half of 2009. The council requires that the channels air more "high quality" programs - dramas and documentaries, in particular. Also, the schedule provided by Reshet was not yet entirely complete.
About a year ago, the council ruled that no more than two reality shows could be broadcast during prime time by each franchise. Plus, each had to show four "high quality" shows during prime time. The authority concedes that those guidelines were fulfilled, but that the advertisements and coverage vastly favored the reality shows.
A statement from Keshet denounced the Second Authority for trying to make the franchise seem like it was breaking the law, even though it knew no laws had been broken. Reshet did not want to address the matter in public.
The chairperson of the Second Authority's council, Nurit Dabush, said that the authority was, on the one hand, committed to providing quality programming, and on the other, was limiting the amount of reality TV in order to create quality mix for viewers.
The Israeli Union of Performing Arts (EMI) praised the authority for its decision, saying that the reality television that had taken over Channel 2 and Channel 10 was strangling Israeli creativity, and it was high time the regulator said something about the situation.