Report: Government plans to slash public broadcaster’s budget, redirect funds to rivals

The new government is planning to cut hundreds of millions of shekels from the budget meant for the Kan public broadcaster, its productions and its television series, and to direct them instead toward the rival commercial networks, according to a report by Channel 13 news — which is one of those latter networks.

The report, which cites unnamed sources familiar with the matter, says the plan — spearheaded by Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi — is aimed at strengthening and providing financial backing to Channel 14, a right-wing network whose news content often aligns with the opinions and interests of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The government reportedly intends to introduce a fund aimed at creating competition between the various channels over government funding. The sources claimed that such a situation could curb the commercial networks’ objection to closing Kan, since its current budget could be redirected to them.

Karhi has repeatedly threatened to close the publicly funded Kan over its purported slant against Netanyahu’s right-religious political bloc.

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