Major shakeup for Israeli public TV

March 10, 2014 08.33 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

IBAThe Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) and Educational Television are to be closed and replaced with a new structure, according to Gilad Erdan, the country’s communications minister.

Quoted in the Jerusalem Post, he added that the broadcast licence fee will be scrapped by the end of March next year.

Under the new structure, there will be three TV channels, on in Hebrew, one in Arabic and one for children.

Although the eight current public radio stations will remain, they will no longer carry advertising and news departments will be merged into a single division for radio and TV.

Furthermore, IBA’s assets will be sold. The annual budget for the newly structured service will be in the region of NIS620 million (€142.2 million ) to NIS720 million.

The plans to close the IBA are expected to face strong political opposition.

The IBA’s operations currently include the flagship station Channel 1, along with Channel 33, which offers viewers programming in Hebrew, Arabic and English.