The board of directors of Channel 10 decided yesterday that the curtain would not come down on the station, despite poor advertising revenues since the station's launch last month. Last week, Israel 10, the concessionaires of the new commercial television channel, slashed advertising rates by 90 percent from a minimum of $5,000 for a 30-second prime-time slot to $500.
The board decided on a three-stage restructuring program culminating in a relaunch of the channel in six months' time. The first stage in the program will be to renegotiate a cheaper broadcasting schedule with the regulatory authorities and then during a six-month period to rebuild the management of the channel before relaunching it.
It would appear that despite rumors of a merger with one of the concessionaires of Channel 2 or with the Yes satellite television channel Breeza, the board of directors is waiting for authorization of a merger with the second channel 10 concessionaire, Eden Broadcasting, which has yet to go on air. The merger, which would significantly cut costs, is scheduled to be discussed by the Knesset next week after the Purim holiday. Israel 10 has clarified to legislators that the merger is a question of life or death for Channel 10.
The biggest shareholder in Israel 10 is Yossi Maiman, chairman of the Merhav group, who holds 36 percent, Alfred Akirov's Alrov holds 18 percent and The Phoenix insurance company holds 13.5 percent.
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