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HOT cable television has decided to continue broadcasting BBC Prime.
HOT and BBC reached a new agreement after lengthy negotiations, the cable network announced Tuesday. Spokesman Eyal Naveh said HOT had also come to terms with the Hallmark, Eurosport News and National Geographic channels.
"We have reached a satisfactory agreement for another year with BBC Worldwide and we also managed to reduce the content cost of additional channels. The negotiations we conducted are part of the reforms the HOT company is going through. We decided to bring content costs, which totaled NIS 800 million in 2006, back to sane levels," said HOT CEO David Kaminitz.
At the same time, HOT said it was dropping The Late Show with David Letterman. "The decision to cut off this TV show has nothing to do with budget issues. It is a part of a general refreshing of HOT's schedule. Several drama series have been bought and will be launched soon instead of the David Letterman show," Naveh said.
According to Kaminitz, the company is not eliminating any channels, and has reduced its expenses for content by between 30 percent and 40%. "Throughout the negotiations, we followed two guidelines; not hurting the customers and not breaching any contracts.
"Other cable companies around the world don't spend more than 22% at most for content, while here in Israel, where the number of viewers is significantly smaller, we spend close to 40% of the company's revenues on content," said Kaminitz.
Meanwhile, the YES satellite company stopped broadcasting Star World on January 15, as planned. The company's service representatives say YES decided to drop Star World because most of its shows are available on the Yes Stars channel. YES spokeswoman Libi Zipser said subscribers who had quit HOT and joined YES over the BBC Prime issue, and who now returned to HOT, would not be charged the installation fee, unless they had taken advantage of a sales promotion.