nachman shai 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
In a last-ditch effort to save Channel 10 from closure, MKs Nachman Shai
(Kadima) and Eitan Cabel (Labor) have proposed a bill requiring the channel to
use the money it owes the state to produce high-quality, original
Channel 10 is likely to close at the end of January, unless an
investor or shareholders pay the NIS 60 million in royalties and franchise fees
the television station owes the government and the Second Authority for
Television and Radio. Last month, the Knesset Economics Committee rejected a
motion to delay the channel’s payments.
The legislation, an amendment to
the Second Authority for Television and Radio Law, would allow the channel to
spend its debt on Israeli-produced programming, instead of paying the Second
Authority, which is responsible for Channels 2 and 10.
Shai and Cabel
have requested that the legislative process for the bill be accelerated, so that
it can be passed before January 27, when Channel 10 is set to be shut down, but
have yet to receive an answer from the Knesset House Committee.
former television journalist and IDF spokesman, said that closing one of the
only two commercial broadcast television channels in Israel would hurt
“Less media sources means less freedom of the press, and less
freedom of the press means less democracy,” he stated.
advertising prices on Channel 2 would reach a new high, because there is no
competition to drive rates down, Shai explained.
He added that it is
“mean-spirited” for coalition MKs to have voted against delaying Channel 10’s
“The media isn’t just a business, like any factor,” the Kadima MK
stated. “Many intelligent people invest in the media knowing that they may lose
money, something they wouldn’t normally do, because of the media’s power.”