Channel 10 is one of two commercial broadcast channels operating in Israel, and it’s not usually the one everybody’s watching. That one is Channel 2. Since November 2008, Channel 10 has been in deep financial trouble and is expected to close down in three months—that’s when it won’t be able to come up with $15 million to pay for its license.
The channel has not been on Prime Minister Netanyahu’s list of most favorite media outlets, ever since it ran an exclusive investigation on Mr. And Mrs. Netanyahu’s unique ways of financing their trips abroad. The State Comptroller opened a formal investigation following the broadcast, and Netanyahu sued Channel 10 for libel.
Countless appeals by Channel 10 for the government to waive the licensing fee—something that’s been done more than once in the past—have not been granted. Bibi does not like to be ridiculed (which is why no one understands his comb-over, biggest among all current international leaders), so Bibi punishes pesky investigative reporters and the channels they ride on.
Now, according to Globes, RGE Group, a major Israeli communications and television program provider, owned by billionaire Len Blavatnik, says it wants to acquire Channel 10.
RGE is really big: it owns the sports channel 5, the Children’s Channel, and provides content to the mobile giant Cellcom Israel’s new television platform.
Blavatnik has had his eyes on Channel 10 in 2013, when Ron Lauder was saying he wanted to let go of the channel, which drove the poor employees into a new kind of frenzied panic.
According to Globes, Channel 10 actually made some money in Q1/15, but it’s been mostly advances on future advertising. The channel is not healthy, even if, somehow, the fourth Netanyahu government will find it in its heart to forgive the licensing fee.
Leonid Valentinovich Blavatnik, 57, is a Ukrainian-born American businessman, investor, and philanthropist. He made his fortune with his company, Access Industries, through diversified investments in a zillion different ventures.
The Blavatnik Family Foundation sponsors, among many worthy programs, a Colel Chabad 20, 000-square-foot food bank and warehouse in Kiryat Malakhi, Israel, which sends monthly food shipments to 5, 000 poor families in 25 Israeli cities, and before Jewish holidays to 30, 000 families in 73 Israeli cities, towns and villages.