Israel invites bids for commercial Arabic-language television channel.

Posted: 17 Apr 2010   Print   Send a link
Ha'aretz, 16 April 2010, Gili Izikovich: "The Communications Ministry's Council for Cable and Satellite Broadcasting issued a tender yesterday for an Arabic-language television channel. The last attempt to launch such a channel took place in 2004. The Ananei Tikshoret company, the only one that approached the tender, returned the license it won a year later. In the six years since, Israel had seen the launch of Russian-language and Amharic channels, but the Arab-Israeli community, 1.3 million strong, remained without an independent commercial channel of its own. ... 'The Arab public in Israel was forced to find an alternative on foreign satellite channels and on the Internet.' ... [T]his tender allows for foreign investors, including those from countries that do not maintain diplomatic ties with Israel. The foreign investors may own as much as 40 percent of the channel's shares. The license for the channel will be valid for 10 years. At least half of its broadcast must be in Arabic, and from year three of its operation, the tender holder will be required to broadcast at least one daily newscast in Arabic, of no less than 20 minutes."