Channel 10's board of directors requested last week that management revise the 2014 content budget to NIS 310 million, down from the previously planned spend of NIS 370 million.
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Channel 10 CEO Rafi Ginat originally opposed the latest revision, after previously agreeing several weeks ago to cut the content budget to NIS 325 million. After arguing that a further dramatic reduction in content spending would harm the channel's revenues and require shareholders to inject more capital into the company, the size of the latest cut was reduced from tens of millions to a further NIS 15 million. The board requested cuts to the originally proposed content budget due to the tight financial situation at the channel and the need for regular monthly injections of capital by the company's principal financier, Jewish-American billionaire Ronald Lauder.
However, despite the cuts, the channel's content budget for 2014 will still be NIS 30 million higher than in 2013, when NIS 280 million was spent on content.
"Channel 10's board approved for 2014 a budget tens of millions of shekels larger than that of 2013, amid a trend of consistently improving ratings at the channel and a 40% growth in October prime-time ratings," the channel said in a statement.
A senior executive at Channel 10 also rejected the idea that the initial content budget for 2014 was NIS 370 million, and confirmed that content spending for next year would represent an increase over the 2013 content budget.