Television in Israel

Television in Israel

=Historical review=

Television in Israel was introduced in 1966 (March 24), with the first transmission of the Israeli Educational Television intended to be received by 32 schools, in attempt to use television as an instructional tool. The Israeli Broadcasting Authority launched regular public transmissions on 2 May 1968, on the occasion of Israel's 20th independence day. Colour transmissions were introduced gradually from 1980 to 1983, with a few exceptional colour transmissions in the late 70s. Until 1986 Israel had only one television channel shared by IETV and IBA. Experimental transmissions on a second channel started in October 1986 and expanded gradually. On 4 November 1993 the second channel was officially handed to three concessionaires, starting the first commercial broadcasts in Israel. Pirated television broadcasts via cables became very popular in the major cities of Israel during the late 80s. These were usually local cable television stations broadcasting illegaly from private houses to subscribers, mainly films released on video tapes. These local stations vanished with the introduction of regulated cable television in 1989.

Colour transmissions

Israeli television started to operate when American and European stations started to switch to full-scale colour transmissions. Nevertheless, the new state-controlled Israeli stations were equipped with black and white facilities as they were cheaper, and as colour productions were deemed unnecessary. During the mid-seventies black and white equipment became rare, so any damaged piece of equipment (VCRs, telecines etc.) had to be replaced with a colour enabled facility. While newscasts and other regular productions were filmed using black and white cameras, many special productions ordered from private modernly equipped Israeli studios (in particular the Herzliya Studios) were filmed and taped in full-colour. Furthermore, the Israeli television used to buy many TV series and movies from American and British TV stations (broadcasted with Hebrew-Arabic subtitles). The result was a mixture of colour and black and white broadcasts, which encouraged traders to import colour TV sets, especially as TV stations in neighbouring Jordan and Egypt started colour transmissions in 1974.

The "mekhikon"

The Israeli government frowned upon the increasing import of colour TV sets, which it considered a threat to Israeli economic stability and an improper pursuit of luxury which increases social gaps. The government therefore ordered IBA and IETV to broadcast entirely in black and white and erase the colour from any colour-taped telecast. Technically, this was done by erasing the "burst phase" signal which triggered the "colour killer" mechanism in colour TV sets. This method was named "mekhikon" (מחיקון "eraser"), and soon after its introduction, special TV sets with an "anti-mekhikon" (אנטי-מחיקון "anti-eraser") device were offered. This device reinstalled the burst phase signal according to several known standards (the client had to turn a switch until natural colours appeared on the screen). Furthermore, in November 1977 the IBA had to cover live and in full colour the historical visit of the Egyptian president, Anwar El Sadat, to Israel, as this transmission was sent via satellite to stations around the world. In March 1979 the IBA hosted the annual Eurovision Song Contest, and once again had to send the transmission live and in full colour without any interruption. Eventually, the "mekhikon" idea was proven to be futile, and the Israeli television stopped using it in 1980, allowing colour transmissions to be received freely. In 1981 as the Israeli government sought to increase its popularity in light of the approaching general elections, IBA and IETV were allowed to start filming their own regular productions in colour. This process took more than two years and was completed on 16th of February 1983 when the main newscast was broadcasted in colour for the first time.

A second channel

Israel had only one TV channel, shared by the state-owned IBA and IETV, for almost two decades, however during that time there was a constant debate about the possibility of creating a second channel. In 1978 the Israeli government appointed a special committee to understand the issue, which advised to launch a second channel which would not be under the IBA supervision and would be financed by advertising, however the idea of commercial television was rejected by some parties in the ruling coalition. In 7 October 1986, the Israeli minister of Communication ordered the beginning of "experimental transmissions" on a second channel, claiming that unless these transmissions had started, the frequencies would have been used by TV networks in neighbouring countries. These transmissions, which initially included 2-3 hours of video clips every evening, expanded gradually to include a full program line up. At this stage the IBA was legally responsible for the channel, but in fact it saw it as an unexpected competition, tried to prevent its inauguration, and was reluctant to take responsibility for its broadcasts. In 1986 the Knesset started discussing the law forming the Second Israeli Broadcasting Authority, which was finally approved in 1990. This new body took responsibility for the second channel from this year onwards. From 1990 to 1993 the Second Broadcasting Authority reviewed bids from commercial companies to establish the regular commercial broadcasts of the second channel, which started on 4 November 1993.

tate-managed Stations

The following stations operate under Israel Broadcasting Authority (aka "the IBA")

*Channel 1
*Channel 33

The following stations operates as a unit of Israeli Ministry of Education:
*Israeli Educational Television (Channel 23, also broadcasts on Channel 1 and Channel 2).

Public-commercial Stations

The following stations operate under the authority of the Second Authority for Television and Radio Broadcasts in Israel (aka "the Second Authority")

*Channel 2
*Channel 10
*Knesset Channel (broadcasts from the parliament and political debates, a subsidiary of Channel 2's news desk)
*Music 24 (Israeli music and video clips)
*Israel Plus (a.k.a. Channel 9, broadcasts in Russian)
**Israel Plus International

Cables and satellite regulated channels

The following channels are offered to subscribers via both cables or satellite. They are regulated by "The Council for Cable and Satellite Transmissions".
*Sport 5 (formerly known as Channel 5)
** Sport 5+
** 5+ Live
** 5+ Gold

* Sport 1 (Pay per view matches of the Israeli football league
* Sport 2 (Pay per view matches of various European football leagues)
*ESPN Israel
*Fox Sports Israel

* Children's Channel (formerly known as Channel 6)
* Hop! (Ages 1-7)
* Logi (A science channel for children)

* Hallmark Israel
* MGM Israel
* TCM Israel

* Discovery Channel Israel
* Animal Planet Israel
* National Geographic Israel
* History Channel Israel

* Good Life Channel
* E! Israel
* Food Channel
* Health Channel
* Viva
** Viva Platinum

* Shopping Channel
* Ego
** Ego Total
* Zone Reality Israel
* BBC Prime Israel
* Jetix Israel

Exclusive channels

The following channels are exclusive to the respective Cable or DBS company

**Hot 3
** Hot Drama
** Hot Action
** Hot Gold
** Hot Fun
** Hot Movies
** Hot Kids
** Hot Prime
** Xtra Hot
** Hot Israeli entertainment
** Bip
** Channel 8
** Nat Geo Wild Israel
** Karma
** House Plus
** Teva Hadvarim

*yes (Satellite)
**yes 1
**yes 2
**yes 3
**yes 4
**yes Baby
**yes Baby +
**yes Docu
**yes India
**yes Junior
**yes Sababa
**yes stars
**yes stars 1
**yes stars 2
**yes stars 3
**yes stars Israeli
**yes stars HD
** Biography Channel Israel

Defunct channels

*yes Plus
*yes Anime

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