Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi on Sunday demanded that the directors of the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation, KAN, release its contents to other broadcasting bodies free of charge.
The minister's demand came in light of reports that the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation did not permit the distribution of its content to broadcasters who did not agree to pay for it.
"The demand of the Broadcasting Corporation’s managers to collect money for the content leads to a situation in which the public pays twice. Both for the Corporation's content that is created by the Israeli taxpayer as well as for the subscription payment to the additional media body," Karhi claimed.
In his letter, Karhi demands that the Corporation's content be released to the other broadcasters without additional considerations. "You are hereby required to immediately release the contents of the Corporation in their various configurations, for use by any entity that wishes to do so, and to stop collecting any payment for the use of the contents produced with the funds of the Israeli taxpayer."
Karhi has made no secret of his desire to shut down the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation. Last week, he stated that he would cut hundreds of millions of shekels from the Corporation.
"There's no place for public broadcasting in Israel," Karhi said in an interview with Channel 12 News. "We will take down barriers and open the market to competition. I hope that it will enter the economic arrangements law soon. The Public Broadcasting Corporation's budget will be cut by hundreds of millions. We will take those hundreds of millions that today go to one player on the market (the Public Broadcasting Corporation) and split them up properly."
Meanwhile on Sunday, the Chairman of KAN, Gil Omer, and the CEO of KAN, Golan Yochpaz, convened the Corporation's employees for the first emergency meeting in Jerusalem in view of the intentions to shut it down. Omer and Yochpaz spoke at the gathering, alongside the representatives of the KAN workers' union, Eliran Gabai and Yoav Krakovsky.