A-G: Channel 10 license can be extended through 2012

Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein sends legal opinion to Second Broadcast Authority; TV channel has been in danger of shutting down.

Channel 10 logo_311 (photo credit:  Courtesy)
Channel 10 logo_311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein sent a legal opinion Sunday morning to the Second Broadcast Authority, saying that Channel 10's broadcast license can be extended until the end of 2012. The station, one of two privately owned television broadcasters in Israel, has been in danger of shutting down over past-due licensing fees.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu last week instructed Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman to postpone a vote on legislation intended on saving the television station from being shut down due to debts it owes to the Second Broadcast Authority. The move was designed to allow the government to find a solution to prevent the private broadcaster from being shuttered.
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A bill submitted by opposition MKs Nachman Shai (Kadima) and Eitan Cabel (Labor), which was meant to save the channel, was frozen for two weeks, allowing the government to find its own solution, so the country is not left with a single commercial-broadcast television station.
Shai and Cabel proposed that Channel 10 be able to spend the NIS 60 million it owes in royalties and franchise fees, on Israeli-produced programming, instead of paying the Second Authority for Television and Radio, which is responsible for Channels 2 and 10.
Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon said the government must make sure Channel 10 does not shut down, adding that closing a television station would contravene Likud values.
Thousands of families would be harmed because of lost jobs if the channel shut down, he said.