Decision on Channel 10 Closure Postponed

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein instructs government to postpone decision on cash-strapped Channel 10 until after the elections.

Elad Benari,

Channel 10 newsroom
Channel 10 newsroom
Moshe Shai/Flash 90

Cash-strapped Channel 10 has received a six-month reprieve from Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein.

The Second Authority for Television and Radio, which oversees Channel 10, announced Tuesday night that Weinstein stated that the decision regarding the channel will be postponed by six months, until after the March elections and the establishment of a new government.

During this time, the Second Authority said, “the channel will continue its programming as scheduled.”

Earlier this week, the Second Authority announced it would foreclose Channel 10’s guarantees, two years after the Knesset extended Channel 10’s broadcasting franchise for two years, while giving it a loan to cover its debts.

In response to the decision, Channel 10 launched a campaign against its impending closure, specifically targeting Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who also serves as Communications Minister.

The channel went dark on Sunday night at about 10:30 p.m., showing a picture of Netanyahu and blaming him for refusing to find a solution to the channel’s financial woes.

Two weeks ago, with its renewed franchise set to expire at the end of the month, the Knesset’s Economics and Education Committees approved a plan to let Channel 10 spend last than half what its rivals which operate Channel 2 do on programming, in order to lower its costs and allow the channel to operate for another year while recruiting investors to help it.

However, Netanyahu has yet to approve the plan that was forwarded to him for approval, and time is running out. Many have accused Netanyahu of a personal vendetta against Channel 10, since over the years it has broadcast several non-flattering exposes about him, among them the “Bibi-Tours” affair which exposed Netanyahu’s luxuriously expensive travels abroad with his wife Sarah.

In 2011, Netanyahu filed a $3.5 million suit against Channel 10 over the Bibi-tours allegations, which he called the worst libel in 60 years.




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