Israel's Educational TV leaves airwaves after 52 years

Channel set to be replaced by KAN Education

Kippi Ben Kippod in front of the Western Wall (photo credit: IETV)
Kippi Ben Kippod in front of the Western Wall
(photo credit: IETV)
On Monday night, after 52 years in operation, the Israeli Educational Television channel ended its programming.
The channel went off the air as part of the deal that created the new Israel Public Broadcasting Authority. While the IPBC, stylized as KAN, went on the air last May, Israeli Educational Television (IETV) stayed until this week. It will be replaced beginning Wednesday with KAN Educational on the same channel 23.
“IETV is leaving you with sadness and love,” the screen on channel 23 read after midnight Tuesday morning. “Thank you to our loyal viewers who found a home with us that was warm, smart, enriching and full of humor. We gave our heart and our soul to bring you valuable and quality programming.”
IETV was Israel’s first-ever TV network, established in 1966, two years before the Israel Broadcasting Authority began its own programming on the same station. In 1995, IETV got its own independent network on channel 23, and over the years aired in specific slots on commercial channels 2 and 10.
During its five decades on the air, IETV has been responsible for some of Israel’s most famous and enduring children’s TV characters.
One of its most best-known and beloved figures is Kishkashta, a talking felt cactus puppet on the show Ma Pitom? (No Way!). The show first aired in 1976, and the character has remained a mainstay in children’s programming.
Other iconic shows on the network included Parpar Nechman (Nice Butterfly) and the Israeli version of Sesame Street (Rehov Sumsum), which included characters like the hedgehog Kippi Ben Kippod and Moishe Oofnik.
The new KAN Educational channel is expected to air many of the same shows that were currently on IETV, as well as a variety of international programming. IETV employed about 180 workers, many of whom are expected to move to the new KAN network.