Educational Television gets additional lease of life

Over the years many of the channel's programs have been directed more to adult viewers than to children.

July 25, 2017 17:16
2 minute read.
FILE PHOTO: Employees work in the offices of Kan, the new Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation, i

FILE PHOTO: Employees work in the offices of Kan, the new Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation, in Tel Aviv, Israel November 3, 2016.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Contrary to rumors that Educational Television will be closing down on August 1, it will continue broadcasting till at least August next year.

For some years now, there have been efforts to close down ETV on the grounds that it no longer serves its purpose which was to supplement the formal education of school children. Over the years many of its programs have been directed more to adult viewers than to children.

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Some months ago, Calcalist published an article in which it stated that the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation Kan CEO, Eldad Koblentz, who was also the CEO of ETV, had discussed the possibility of utilizing ETV staff to produce content for daytime television broadcasts on Kan.

This was untrue and unnecessary, Kan spokeswoman Sharon Ben David told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. According to the Public Broadcasting Law, she said, ETV programs are broadcast on Kan from 12-5 p.m. each day. The law went into force on May 15 of this year when Kan went to air, and has a total of 15 months validity.

During that time frame, new arrangements might be made to keep ETV on air, or permission might be given by the Finance Ministry for a large segment of the ETV staff to be incorporated into Kan.

ETV is the oldest of Israel’s television outlets, having been founded in 1964 as an experiment funded by the Rothschild Foundation, with the purpose of having it broadcast to schools. Originally named the Educational Television Trust, it broadcast to 32 schools during the trial period which ended in 1966, after which broadcasts went to air and were viewed by the very few Israeli households in which there was a television set.

In that year, the Rothschild Foundation transferred ETT and its facilities to the government and the name was changed to the Center for Educational Television, which is located close to Tel Aviv University. It then became known as Educational Television whose broadcasts were strictly for children until June, 1982, when during the First Lebanon War, it introduced A New Evening, an interview program hosted by journalist Dan Margalit.

After that ETV more or less changed its identity and continued to incorporate programs that were not really intended for children.

In 2006, it began to broadcast on Channel 23, as well as Channels 1 and 2.

Channel 1 is now Kan 11.

In November of this year, Keshet and Reshet production companies which have been sharing air time or Channel 2, are supposed to begin operating their own 24/7 broadcasting channels, and in the future, one or both might be able to absorb part of ETV. But that is all speculation.

It first has to be seen whether the market is big enough to support so many TV channels.

Meanwhile ETV still has a 13-month lease of life.

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