Orlev: Religious public shouldn't pay for 'Eretz Nehederet'

Education committee chairman outraged about fee for watching popular comedy show after Shabbat.

February 14, 2010 02:53
1 minute read.
Orlev: Religious public shouldn't pay for 'Eretz Nehederet'

eretz nehederet 88. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Knesset Education and Culture Committee chairman Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi) intends to send a letter to the Second Television Authority on Sunday protesting Keshet’s decision to charge for watching the popular show Eretz Nehederet on Saturday nights.

A few years ago, religious MKs succeeded in persuading Keshet, the company that produces Eretz Nehederet, to run the show during the week, because the content of the satirical show was considered an important part of Israeli society. But the show was later moved back to Friday night.

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Sabbath-observant viewers, who do not watch television on Friday nights, were able to watch the show online for free on Saturday nights after Shabbat ended. But religious viewers who went to Channel 2’s site to watch the show this Saturday night found a disclaimer informing them that there was a charge to watch the show until Monday.

“I was very surprised by this improper decision,” Orlev said.

“There is no reason why the religious public that doesn’t watch TV on Shabbat should have to pay a fine for their observance. I will work to get this scandalous decision canceled.”

Eretz Nehederet viewer Michelle Raz, who attends a Jerusalem yeshiva, suggested that the show should not be broadcast on Shabbat but if it is, it should be available for free online afterward.

“The first public relations mistake was broadcasting it on Friday night,” Raz said. “The second was to charge people who can’t watch it on Shabbat and want to see it afterwards. They should only be so lucky to have non-Shomer Shabbat and Shomer Shabbat viewers who want to watch it. It’s a testament to how popular their show is and the wide range it appeals to.”

A spokeswoman for Keshet did not return phone calls. Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon and Culture Minister Limor Livnat declined to comment.

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