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New Law to Change Greece's Media Landscape

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A new television license law has been voted on that will grant 4 national broadcast licenses. The bill had been mired in controversy because of the restriction of licenses and the government's decision to oversee who get's granted a license instead of an independent body. Greece, unlike the rest of the EU, has maintained a regime of issuing temporary licenses for the last 25 years..... Supposedly the government will consider international bids as well, with a Turkish investor already approaching the government.

 

Excerpt: "The new law allows only for four national TV stations to be operating in Greece, while currently there are seven, threatened to have their licenses taken away."

 

http://greece.greekreporter.com/2016/02/12/new-law-to-change-greeces-media-landscape/

Edited by Grk101

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If this law is actually enforced, which I doubt, it will be interesting to see which of the existing national networks get to keep their licenses:

 

Alpha

Antenna

Makedonia

Mega

Skai

Star

 

Don't forget that most of these stations have severe financial problems.

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Another tidbit is that the new licenses will only be valid for a four year period.  http://en.protothema.gr/bill-on-tv-licenses-submitted-to-greek-parliament/

 

 

If this law is actually enforced, which I doubt, it will be interesting to see which of the existing national networks get to keep their licenses:

 

Alpha

Antenna

Makedonia

Mega

Skai

Star

 

Don't forget that most of these stations have severe financial problems.

 

Does EPSILON TV also have a national license? I know ALTER still holds a license even though it is defunct.

 

I see a lot of merging happening if the law is enforced. ANT1/MAKEDONIA TV share common shareholders, as does MEGA and STAR. As you mention, a lot of these channels are in deep financial trouble. Some are speculating this might be a way for them to declare bankruptcy and start over.

 

The Turkish investor is named Acun Ilicali, and he wants to buy a license for a reality-based channel like his channel in Turkey: http://www.tv8.com.tr/

Edited by Grk101

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The government is still pushing ahead with its ill-advised television license plan. The tender for the bidding of 4 national television licenses is expected to be published on April 25th, with each television license starting at 3 million euro. The selection process/bidding will conclude by late July. Each license will be auctioned off in phases.

 

http://www.kathimerini.gr/856818/article/epikairothta/ellada/h-prokhry3h-gia-tis-thleoptikes-adeies-sto-opengov

http://www.verianet.gr/post/40937-pos-tha-dothoyn-oi-tileoptikes-adeies-poioi-tha-tis-diekdiki

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What is the thinking behind this? Less channels = less capitalism?

 

Basically. The SYRIZA government had vowed to take down these "vampire businesses". The official rational though, is based on a study done by the European University Institute in Florence that found Greece can only support 4 private national channels. The study has been highly debated, and most of the information presented debunked. Public opinion is also predominantly against the plan to pair down the number of channels. (http://newpost.gr/entertainment/media/525714/dhmoskophsh-ths-metron-analysis-gia-thn-eithsee) Despite this, the government is pushing ahead with the plan.

 

Pretty ironic that they fought for the ERT workers, yet are going to be putting hundreds of other television people out of jobs now with this action.

 

 

 

By the way, the opposition is using this joke of a plan as a reason to call new elections. Here is an excerpt relating to the license plan from a Washington Post interview with Kyriakos Mitsotakis of ND:

 

So are you asking for an election?

I am, yes, because I think we could have a much better government than the one we have. .?.?. Tsipras is trying to control the media, which is completely unacceptable.

 

How?

We have an independent agency which is in charge of media licensing and regulating media. He?s taken away the responsibility from this authority and given it to his best friend, who happens to be a minister for media. And they decided [to] give out four TV licenses [instead of eight]. It?s a cozy way of controlling the media.

 

So he?s going to shut down four [stations]?

If they don?t get a license they will have to shut down. He?s [also] intervening with justice by having the minister of justice calling up judges and asking what they?re doing with case x, y, z. One of the reasons I?m asking for an election is that I feel that there is an erosion of our democratic institutions taking place.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/greek-opposition-leader-i-dont-think-this-government-coalition-will-last/2016/04/13/c5510450-00cf-11e6-9203-7b8670959b88_story.html

Edited by Grk101

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Out of all those channels how many are available outside Greece?

 

Depending on  your country(not sure about other places) but here in Canada we got at least 6 of those channels in some forum ethier a international feed or some copy right feed IE Odyssey(ANT 1).

 

The only one we don't have is this Makedonia channel?

Edited by MCIBUS

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Out of all those channels how many are available outside Greece?

 

All of them have some type of international feed/coverage, except for Makedonia TV.

 

ANT1 Satellite/Pacific

ALPHA Sat

MEGA Cosmos

SKAI International

STAR International

NGTV (Programing from SKAI, STAR, EPSILON)

 

Really no need for a Makedonia TV international channel with the limited amount of Greek material they broadcast.

Edited by Grk101

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What is the thinking behind this? Less channels = less capitalism?

If the stations are in financial trouble then this makes sense. Whether he does or doesn't give them a licence it will look suspicious. 

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What is the thinking behind this? Less channels = less capitalism?

 

I think this might be one of the goals here, why else would you limit the amount of private stations whom you stand to make money from through this license fee?!  So, according to this think tank Greece can only support 4 private stations yet have no problem operating 3 public stations?! :rolleyes:  ERT should be comprised of 2 channels IMO, one based in Athens and one in Thessaloniki- 3 is not needed and is to much for a country Greece's size.

 

FYI, there is no Skai International Grk101, at least as far as I know?!  NGTV used to air programming from Skai but not anymore, their website only lists programming from Star, Epsilon and Action24.

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All of them have some type of international feed/coverage, except for Makedonia TV.

 

ANT1 Satellite/Pacific

ALPHA Sat

MEGA Cosmos

SKAI International

STAR International

NGTV (Programing from SKAI, STAR, EPSILON)

 

Really no need for a Makedonia TV international channel with the limited amount of Greek material they broadcast.

 

Makedonia TV is owned by the Antenna group, and the Antenna international channel carried some of their programming in the past, so technically they are part of an intenational channel.

 

Four privately owned national channels are adequate for the size of the country. Financially they can't make it. Even the current big ones are in deep financial trouble. They only reason they survived in the past was because the various governments (PASOK, ND) were looking the other way. On paper most of these broadcasters were operating illegally, since they never paid their licensing fees. 

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So, according to this think tank Greece can only support 4 private stations yet have no problem operating 3 public stations?!

 

Based on their "findings", Greece only gets 4 digital multiplexes on the sub-700 MHz band. 2 are reserved for ERT, and the other 2 private. They claim that only 2 HD channels can fit on each multiplex using today's technology. DIGEA went ahead and proved them wrong, fitting 4 HD channels on there with today's technology. (Hence why the sudden rush of HD channels) When this was pointed out, the minister of Media heading this whole thing, started making outlandish claims that other countries that are bigger only have x amount of channels. All that was proven wrong as well. I think this is now a case of ego. They can't go back and say they were wrong....

 

The report also mentioned that the overall financial obligation in the sector is estimated at 700 million Euro, and that advertising revenues have been falling for the past few years, but this was not considered in their recommendation due to inconsistencies in financial data available to them. They go on to say that more licenses can be issued in the future if future technology allows more than 2 channels per multiplex, but their current finding is based solely on technical grounds and that one could argue that a limited number of licenses should help the channels financially.

 

You can read the report here by the way http://www.ereportaz.gr/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/eui-greece_final_report_excerpts.pdf

 

 

ERT should be comprised of 2 channels IMO, one based in Athens and one in Thessaloniki- 3 is not needed and is to much for a country Greece's size.

 

Totally agree. That was one of the good ideas to come out of the NERIT situation. They are back up to three now, with all of them playing a huge amount of re-runs. What is the point?

 

 

FYI, there is no Skai International Grk101, at least as far as I know?!  NGTV used to air programming from Skai but not anymore, their website only lists programming from Star, Epsilon and Action24.

 

Ah, did not know that. I know they used to offer a paid streaming app as well, but I see that is also gone now. I can understand cutting the standalone international channel, but it seems strange they cut their programing from NGTV as well.  I have no access to NGTV, but I think a channel like that might work on DISH. "The best of" programing from 3-4 of the smaller channels that do not warrant their own standalone channel.

 

By the way, it looks like they (claim) actually took over the distribution of STAR and EPSILON for US/CANADA??

 

 

Four privately owned national channels are adequate for the size of the country. Financially they can't make it. Even the current big ones are in deep financial trouble. They only reason they survived in the past was because the various governments (PASOK, ND) were looking the other way. On paper most of these broadcasters were operating illegally, since they never paid their licensing fees. 

 

Very true, but if there are investors willing to pay the 3 million euro licensing fee, and support a channel's operations, why limit it to four? There are at least 2 foreign investors looking to buy licenses as well. That being said, I agree there should be some consolidation for the channels that share common share holders. Why try to support multiple channels, and not focus the resources on one? ANT1/MAKEDONIA should merge, same with MEGA/STAR.

 

If this licensing plan goes ahead, it will be interesting to see what happens with the content libraries from the channels that will close. For example, I read that MEGA's biggest asset is their library of content. Would anyone actually buy that though? Would be a shame to loose a lot these archives from any of the channels really.

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Although I can't comment on whats going on in Greece as I don't really follow the things happening their.

 

But for Skai, I can't comment on the internet version, but the one on Fibe TV I can tell you when it first appeared the TV logo said Skai not sure if this was the "really Skai" or NGTV version?Most of the commercials  where from New York City, a few where from Toronto and some where in Greek lettering(don't read Greek) so I'm not sure where they where from.

 

Then some time later(not sure when) the TV logo switched to NGTV. 

Now the funnest part about this is we get both NGTV & Star International on Fibe which I sub to for my mother. Do don't really watch the channels so can't say whats on.

 

The only 2 I don't sub to is

 

4E(I'm not religious)

Sports+(not really into sports)  

 

But sub to all the others.

 

 

I'm not sure whats going to happen with all this Hopla and every thing only time will tell.

 

I can't comment on the US but here in Canada at least on Fibe TV if they re-aline the channels the way Fibe has them set(assuming the put them all in the 2000's(there room for at least 4 or 5 more channel placements, whether they get to  filled is anyone\s guess but either then ERT World I'm not sure what other Greek channels could show up?

Edited by MCIBUS

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For example, I read that MEGA's biggest asset is their library of content. Would anyone actually buy that though? Would be a shame to loose a lot these archives from any of the channels really.

 

You just answered your own question- their programming library has value, that is why someone would buy it.  They produced a lot of hit shows over the years, many of the top ones I believe still re-air to this day.

 

MEGA is in a heap of trouble, I have been following the unfolding events for a while now and it doesn't look good for the future of this channel.  For a while now the egomaniac owners have been fighting over the operating budget as none of them want to put in anymore of their own money.  They failed to come to an agreement several times but recently I read something about a new investor coming on board, not sure if he was going to buy out one of the existing shareholders or just become a new shareholder himself.  It appears as though this deal may have fallen out as well, not clear on what has happened.  The latest news I read was that 2 of the banks that MEGA owes money to have called in the loan which means if they don't find the money to pay them what they owe them the channel could shut down.  Even if it shuts down, I think someone will swoop in and buy up the assets (programming library) from the bank and re-start the channel from the beginning- perhaps even one of the existing owners.

 

I have read about the poor financial situation of the main Greek channels for a while now but have yet to see any of them fail.  If they are in such bad shape financially then how are they able to keep operating?!  Thus far I think only smaller, regional or local stations have shut down.

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Last time I watched Mega - a channel I used to love as a kid, there was a heavy Turkish soap opera on. Pretty hardcore listening to that language and trying to follow the medieval social construct of a Sunni fixed marriage, found it pretty depressing to be honest.  :D

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Thankfully the Turkish soap fad is over in Greece. :tup:

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If ERT World comes back to Canada don't expect to see the "really version"More likely those who will buy the rights to it will be either

 

Soundview

Ethnic Channel Group LTD

or that Duffis Malka who owns Odyssey  

 

and probably show up on Fibe TV as they seem to add any ethnic service approved at some point?

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This plan is still moving ahead..... The process will begin next week and is expected to be wrapped up by the new television season in the fall. There are multiple interested parties, aside from the current channels broadcasting. EPSILON also is upping the ante, suggesting the licenses should go for 35 million euro instead of 3 million starting price.

 

Various reports suggest the government may ultimately decide to go beyond 4 licenses if interest is high, but that has not been officially confirmed.

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The tender for the 4 nationwide "general content" television licenses has come to a close. A total of 11 letters of interest were received. They will be reviewed, and an auction is expected to take place in August. Below are the companies in the running:

 

1. 

Edited by Grk101

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Apparently an extension until the end of the week has been given to anyone else who wishes to bid for a license.

 

It is comical that this whole reform is partially driven by a pledge to rid the media of the influence of "big financial interests", yet all 11 bids are just that. But surprise, surprise, -- some of the new bidders now have SYRIZA ties. :ph34r:

 

 

are these going to be new TV stations.channels? or replacing existing ones?

 

They will replace existing ones.

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MEGA bit the dust today in Syriza's purge of the FTA channels. Sorry to all those Greeks who will now be made unemployed. So long MEGA, will always remember you for this.. and not for the Turkish soaps you tried to peddle.

 

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