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Grk101

New Law to Change Greece's Media Landscape

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At least those Turkish soap operas (and yes the stories are terrible) are produced professionally.  The greek shows these days look like someone stuck their fingers down their throat and barfed on a screen.  The picture quality is some sort of blur from a 1980's camcorder.  The sound quality sounds as if the producer was working in a small toilet.  And the script usually involves people acting like baffoons screeching at the top of their voice.

 

I know the country has its financial problems but it also had them back in '50s and '60's and we still managed to produce good classic films.  Now, it's just awful.

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I'm wondering with Mega shutting down how this will effect the programing here in Canada & the US? With Mega available(programming) on certain Canadian providers & Dish in the US? 

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At least those Turkish soap operas (and yes the stories are terrible) are produced professionally.  The greek shows these days look like someone stuck their fingers down their throat and barfed on a screen.  The picture quality is some sort of blur from a 1980's camcorder.  The sound quality sounds as if the producer was working in a small toilet.  And the script usually involves people acting like baffoons screeching at the top of their voice.

 

I know the country has its financial problems but it also had them back in '50s and '60's and we still managed to produce good classic films.  Now, it's just awful.

 

Those Greek soaps are terrible in quality. I agree 100%. However I would rather have those on all day than an hour of Turkish language soap opera on TV. - the theme - a girl pressured into a Sunni marriage - and she can't back out because it will damage her family's honour as good muslims in the village. I would rather Greeks are shown bad acting with over-lipsticked vulgar actresses and bawdy humour than Sunni dilemmas. 

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I'm wondering with Mega shutting down how this will effect the programing here in Canada & the US? With Mega available(programming) on certain Canadian providers & Dish in the US? 

 

MEGA hasn't shut down, although they are heading in that direction.  As mentioned above, they have been eliminated from the process where the government will be awarding licenses to 4 channels that will be broadcasting as national stations.    The channel is in bad shape thanks to the corrupt owners who run it and have saddled it with an enormous amount of debt that it cannot pay back in the current economic climate in Greece.  I would like to see the channel file for bankruptcy protection so that they can get rid of the debt AND the corrupt ego maniacs who currently have an ownership stake.  From there, I am hopeful someone will buy up the assets (their programming library has value) so that the channel can re-launch under new stable ownership and the employees can keep their jobs.

 

As for this whole licensing process, it reeks of cronyism and demonstrates IMO that the current government is as corrupt as all the previous ones.  It should not be up to the government to decide how many channels the market can bear and how many can survive financially- that should be up to the market itself.  They should just say 'anyone who wants to operate a TV channel from here on out will be required to purchase a license and the license costs 'X' amount.  Let anyone who can afford to pay for the license have one and then the strong will survive and the weak will not.

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Syriza openly debates the concept of capitalism. Letting the 'market decide' is not something they would ever voluntarily promote.

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As for this whole licensing process, it reeks of cronyism and demonstrates IMO that the current government is as corrupt as all the previous ones.  It should not be up to the government to decide how many channels the market can bear and how many can survive financially- that should be up to the market itself.  They should just say 'anyone who wants to operate a TV channel from here on out will be required to purchase a license and the license costs 'X' amount.  Let anyone who can afford to pay for the license have one and then the strong will survive and the weak will not.

 

Just like every other corrupt aspect of life in Greece, so is the award of national television licenses. Those that will pay off the politicians will get their license.

 

On a positive note, it is quite revolutionary to introduce a licensing process for broadcasting stations. Even the most backward nations have some kind of licensing scheme for broadcasting licenses. In essence all these TV and radio stations so far have been broadcasting illegally.    

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The auction for the 4 nationwide television licenses is expected to take place on August 30th amid more concerns about the whole process.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/211297/article/ekathimerini/news/auction-for-tv-licenses-is-set-for-august-30-amid-concerns

 

 

MEGA Channel has officially been taken off the eligibility list.... The 9 remaining contenders are: SKAI SA, NTV Nea Tileorasi, Antenna TV, Alpha Satellite Television S.A., Ioannis-Vladimiros H. Kalogritsas, E TV, Alter Ego, Dimera Media Investments Ltd and ITV CP.

http://www.amna.gr/english/article/14792/Final-list-of-contenders-for-TV-licences-tender-announced

 

 

 

Also an interesting article about the opposing views of the whole process. They also want to reform the television advertisement market. http://www.thenationalherald.com/130790/

Edited by Grk101

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Tomorrow is the big day. There have been attempts by practically all the bidders (even the newcomers) to stop the auction due to some inconsistencies with the process, but it is still planned to go ahead tomorrow morning.

The latest development is that EPSILON TV has been cut from the approved bidder shortlist just a day before the auction, due to the channel not meeting the specified criteria. Whatever channel does not win a license tomorrow, will be forced to go off air within 90 days. Since both MEGA and now EPSILON are not part of the process, it looks like they will cease to broadcast this fall if the process goes as planned.

I am wondering if any of these channels will try their hand at being a subscriber driver channel on NOVA/OTE. There is also the possibilities that they will shift their efforts to Cyprus, where television licenses are only 200,000 Euro if i recall and are not limited. Alpha TV launched Alpha TV Cyprus earlier this year, many saying it was a backup channel in case they do not get a license in Greece.

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The first license has apparently been awarded. Speculations and rumors say that it has been won by (Alter Ego) Marinakis. According tot rules of the bidding process no information is going to be released until the whole process is completed, so once again we are witnessing the bourdello that the Greek society is.

I don't think any of the channels will close. Some of the losers will probably be absorbed by the license winners. For example if Savvidis wins one of the license, he will need the technical means and employees to start broadcasting. The easiest way is to acquire an existing broadcaster. MEGA comes to mind.

The losers also have the options to apply for a regional license later on

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It is interesting how the bidding shook out:

  • SKAI - 43.6 Million Euro over 56 rounds
  • Vladimiros Ioannis Kalogritsas - 52.6 Million Euro over 78 rounds
  • ANT1 - 75.9 million Euro over 99 rounds
  • Alter Ego (Marinakis) 73.9 million Euro over 117 rounds

If any of the 4 above winners do not pass an "asset and wealth inspection", then one of the 4 runner ups will replace them. (Ivan Savvidis (61.5 million euros), Alpha TV (61 million euros), the Cypriot-based venture (18 million euros) and Star Channel (13 million euros)).

There is also a pending court case about the process, as well as promises by opposing political parties to add more licenses or reverse the whole process. If everything remains as planned though, it means ALPHA, STAR, MEGA and EPSILON remain without nationwide licenses and are at danger of ceasing to broadcast within 90 days.

It will be interesting to see if the two new players that won licenses try to make a deal with one of the channels. There is also the satellite pay TV option, as well as one of the future more restrictive television licenses that are rumored to be offered (themed content, regional, etc.) though it would change their whole financial dynamics if they went any of those routes and might not be beneficial. These high bidding amounts are also expected to cut into the operating budgets of the channels, with cuts expected......

http://www.tovima.gr/en/article/?aid=825539

http://www.tvnea.com/2016/09/blog-post_45.html

Edited by Grk101

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Malesis - News and Information chief of SKAI said the process does not befit a European country. He said the competition was inconsistent with civilised countries. He even said Nikos Pappas the State Minister was giving the channels advice on how to be 'pluralistic and objective' - fitting the Syiza object of media conditioning of citizens towards the left I guess. 

Absolutely damning:

http://www.sport-fm.gr/article/malelis-i-thesi-mas-den-allazei-perissotera-kanalia-perissoteri-enimerwsi-perissoteri-dimokratia/3198029

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^^ SKAI is not very friendly toward SYRIZA to begin with, and they certainly are not holding back even after winning a license. I wouldn't be surprised if they find a reason to discredit SKAI's bid at this rate.

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Rumors have already began to fly about what Marinakis plans for his new channel. Of course the plans include broadcasting rights for ALL Olympiakos games.

http://www.tvnea.com/2016/09/blog-post_60.html

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Also here are the maximum bids by round. Each horizontal line of data represents a round.

dr3typ.png

Edited by Grk101
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I am guessing Star, Alpha and Mega will no longer be sucking up to Syriza in their news reporting anymore..

 

Greece cuts TV channels from eight to four in controversial licence auction

Government claims says move will raise €250m and reduce corruption – but critics claim ministers are trying to stifle opposition

 
Greece has awarded four national TV licences in a controversial auction.
 Greece has awarded four national TV licences in a controversial auction. Photograph: Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images

Mark Sweney and agencies

Friday 2 September 2016 11.59 BSTLast modified on Friday 2 September 201612.05 BSThe Greek government has netted almost €250m (£210m) from a controversial broadcast licence auction that will see the number of national channels in the country cut from eight to four.

Prime minister Alexis Tsipras’s left-led government claimed the auction would crack down on corruption in the media sector and enable better regulation.

But critics say the move is merely a ploy to replace established TV barons – who have opposed Tspiras’s Syriza party in the past – with others more to his liking.

State minister Nikos Pappas said the auction – the first in 27 years – meant Greecenow has “TV channels which will inform Greek people objectively ... not depending on their owners’ links to the political leadership”.

A secretive auction saw Greece’s most powerful media executives locked away for more than three days with a ban on mobile phones. One top executive was seen taking a sleeping mattress into the Athens building for the multi-day process.

The four 10-year licences were won by three shipowners and a construction mogul, the latter considered close to the Tsipras government.

The government made €246m from the auction, handing licences to incumbent Skai TV for €43.6m and to Antenna TV – which has a wide-ranging multimedia deal with Vice Media including a daily TV show – for €75.9m.

“We were not contesting a licence, we came to negotiate ransom,” Costas Kimbouropoulos, Skai’s representative, said according to Reuters.

Skai and Antenna are both owned by shipowning families – the latter by Yiannis Alafouzos, who also controls Athens football giants Panathinaikos.

Two new entrants – construction magnate Ioannis Kalogritsas and shipowner Vangelis Marinakis, owner of Greek football champions Olympiakos – picked up the other licences.

Greece’s oldest private channel, Mega, failed to make the cut and was eliminated before the bidding even started.

Leading channels Alpha and Star were also knocked out in the process.

The government has claimed that four channels is enough to be viable based on a TV ad market estimated at about €280m annually.

The Athens Journalists’ Union described the process – which is likely to lead to hundreds of job losses – as a “badly written reality show”.

Greece’s top administrative court later this month will examine requests by several of the channels to annul the process.

The government has said stations that broadcast nationwide without a licence will be blocked in 90 days.

 

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In simple terms Tsipras knows ERT alone wont be enough to win him and his pals the next election. Pappas actually had the audacity to tell the potential networks the kind of 'pluralistic' programming they should be putting out during the sham channel auction. Malesis  - who spends most his time lamenting the tyranny of the Junta in the 1970s just got his first dose of being told what to broadcast and he could not believe it. That is Venezuelan levels of state influence and control. Syriza is just another business, the same way PASOK and ND are. It needs advertising.  I will not lament Star, Alfa or Mega being shut down. I only feel sorry for those 1000s of employees with families who will be made unemployed at Christmas. As for the Greeks - they thought they were voting in Mother Teresa - turns out they voting in the big boys who could teach Maduro a trick or two any day of the week. Once Greece gave away the keys to the house, don't expect Syriza to hand them back easily.

 

We have to remember when the former Government wanted to re-brand and streamline ERT/ There was a massive outcry. Millions turned to Syriza to reverse this culture of austerity. Lets see how many Greeks now weep for those who could lose their jobs at Mega, Star and Alfa.. These companies represent broken capitalism - but there staff are still humans who need money to pay the bills. Lets see what sympathy Greece gives them. 

I would estimate 99% of this forum is composed of the descendants of Greeks who left Greece for a better future. Everyday I read the news in Greece it seems crystal clear that they made the right decision to leave. As my own mother always used to tell me as a boy, 'Greece is a place to spend your money and enjoy the country on holidays - not a place to earn your money and live.'

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We knew MEGA was not going to be part of the bidding process, and reports before the auction had stated STAR wasn't planning to bid above 10-15 million. The biggest surprise is ALPHA not winning a license, as the are arguably, one of the top channels in Greece currently. (Just this past week they top the Nielsen ratings, even with re-runs.) ALPHA's top bid was 61 million Euro, and the channel reports that any higher bid would not have been economically viable to them. It will be interesting to see what happens with them, all the big name talent has vowed to stand by the channel.

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Also here is another great excerpt to sum up this process from the WSJ:

..........

If Greece’s government seems keen to bury the country’s precrisis sins in a story of statistical malfeasance, it is determined to elevate the regulation of the national broadcasting sector into a purge of the “triangle of corruption” linking politicians, media barons and bankers.

It is true that there has been no public tender on broadcast licenses since the beginning of private television in Greece in 1989, and that TV networks have historically benefitted from cozy relationships with banks and political parties. Some media owners have used their influence to strengthen their other business interests, which often involved government contracts. And they could always rely on the help of politically controlled banks to keep funding their networks, even when they were making losses.

Syriza’s proposed remedy, however, only makes matters worse. In a move of questionable constitutionality, Nikos Pappas, the minister of state and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s closest confidant, has chosen to bypass the country’s electronic-media watchdog and has taken it upon himself to oversee the tender process.

Mr. Pappas is reducing the number of private-channel licenses to four, down from the existing seven. His original justification was that the country’s digital spectrum would otherwise be overloaded. After that argument was demolished, Mr. Pappas switched to blaming the collapsing advertising market for the reduction, claiming that there wasn’t enough advertising money to support more channels.

If that were true, presumably the market could have determined this for itself, and nonviable channels would have shut down in due course out of financial difficulty. Meanwhile, awarding more licenses would have brought more desperately needed revenue into the government’s coffers. But the thought doesn’t seem to have occurred to Mr. Pappas.

The minister also seems similarly unconcerned about the possibility of shutting down existing TV stations with hundreds of employees. Meanwhile, the prospective new station owners come with baggage of their own, be it serious legal entanglements or other businesses heavily dependent on government contracts, making a mockery of the claim that the auction was about combating corruption.

The EU took a forceful stand opposing the case against Mr. Georgiou. The restriction of freedom of expression involved in the attempt to reshape the TV landscape is a serious challenge to European values. European authorities, including the Court, if it comes to that, should treat it accordingly.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/syriza-strains-greeces-credibility-1473276200

Edited by Grk101
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Looks like the focus now turns to Ivan Savvidis, as he was the next highest bid in the last round. Savvidis has already publicly accepted the license, and asked for a few days to submit the money. The other three parties have submited their first payments for their licenses. Savvidis also publicly made a public offer to Alpha and Star for a potential alliance.

http://greece.greekreporter.com/2016/09/26/government-friendly-tv-license-applicant-disqualifies-for-failing-to-pay-tender-tranche/

http://www.ekathimerini.com/212319/article/ekathimerini/news/focus-shifts-to-savvidis-after-kalogritsas-gives-up-tv-license

 

Of course one could argue that the attention should be turning to Alpha instead, who was the next highest bidder (after Marinakis, but he already has a license) from the 2nd round that Kalogritsas won his license from.

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Word is that Marinakis has already booked the television talent for his new channel, and is going big. The channel will be broadcasting out of the older MEGA studios. Rumor also is that he plans to buy the MEGA video library if it goes to bankruptcy auction.

Meanwhile at MEGA.......

This is based solely on classics from their video library at this point, while the other channels have started premiering their original content.

Edited by Grk101
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Savvidis today paid the first of three down payments for the 4th TV license in the form of 20.5 million Euro. So far his attempt get a cooperation with either Alpha or Star have failed. Not only that, those two channels have started a mudslinging campaign against Savvidis. Reports out of Thessaloniki is that he will build a TV network from scratch and will most likely be based out of Thessaloniki.

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The new television station by Marinakis will officially be called "ONE CHANNEL". See the logo below in their press release:

on.jpg

 

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He might not be able to do it though, since the courts ruled that the license bidding process was unconstitutional. Back to square one. All the broadcasters will continue to broadcast without license like they did all these years. 

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