Reality Bites 'A Star Is Born' Nets Keshet a Serious Fine

Serious sanctions are levied for broadcasting excessive amounts of reality television.

Keshet, one of the two franchisees of Channel 2, exceeded the amount of reality show broadcasts allowed each week and will be fined with the loss of 37 minutes of advertising time, according to an announcement by the Second Television Authority, which oversees commercial television in Israel.

The fine is unusually high and is one of the most severe sanctions to have been imposed on a commercial channel in Israel. It was given in response to a significant deviation during June and July in the broadcasting of the talent reality show "A Star is Born."

star is born - public relations - August 24 2010
Judges of A Star Is Born.Public Relations

According to the regulations of the Second Television Authority, each of the Channel 2 franchisees is allowed to broadcast as much as three weekly hours of reality TV. During the months in question, Keshet broadcast five weekly hours of reality TV.

In June, the Authority warned Keshet about the deviation, but the violations continued and a serious fine was decided on, which may cost the franchisee hundreds of thousands of shekels in advertising revenues. Keshet is entitled to appeal the fine.

"The decision of the authority to limit the hours of entertainment and reality [programming] was meant to ensure that the franchisees met the requirements for quality programming and program content that was both varied and appropriate," the Second Television Authority said in a statement.

In response Keshet issued a statement saying that "when the council decided to condition the broadcast of entertainment and reality in their broadcast on the broadcasting of elite content, the purpose was to force the franchisees to have a varied and rich program that includes quality programs. In 2009, it was shown beyond any doubt that the goal was achieved."

The franchisee complains that the instructions undermine the possibility of long-term program planning, and is unnecessary as "Keshet broadcast during recent weeks the program 'A Star is Born' twice a week as a main show. Along with this program, over those weeks, we broadcast about 10 quality programs during the week, double the amount required by the regulations."