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Channel 10 – all is not lost?

Hectic negotiations to save struggling commercial channel continue as Second Authority for Television and Radio formulates new criteria for franchising bid

Eran Bar-On
Published: 07.28.09, 19:00 / Israel Business

Will Channel 10 be spared at the last minute? A source close to the negotiations between Channel 10 heads, the Treasury and the Second Authority for Television and Radio said Tuesday that all sides involved in the hectic efforts to keep on broadcasting are showing positive signs.

 

The goal, added the source, is to end this crisis by the end of the week, before the Second Authority publishes a new franchising tender.

 

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Channel 10 has been facing growing financial difficulties, and primary shareholder Yossi Meiman announced recently that his media group will no longer finance the fledgling station and that it may go off the air as early as August.

 

The main bone of contention is a NIS 10 million debt (about $2.64 million) owned by the channel. The Treasury demands the sum in cash after already agreeing to defer the rest of the channel's NIS 28 million ($7.4 million) debt.

 

"You don’t shut a station down over $2 million," a senior Channel 10 source told Ynet. "Everyone knows it's time to come to their senses and work this out."

 

Meanwhile, the Second Authority for Television and Radio finished formulating the new tender for the Channel 10 franchise.

 

Unless a compromise is reached between the channel's captains, the Treasury and the Second Authority, the latter planned to issue the new bid on Friday.

 

Companies bidding for the franchise would have to prove organizational experience, which would count for 30% of the Second Authority's decision, an obligation to invest in original Israeli productions (60%) and, of course, be the highest bidder, which would count for 10%.

 

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