The Second Authority for Television and Radio
The Second Authority for Television and Radio (Hebrew: הרשות השניה לטלויזיה ורדיו) is an Israeli commercial television and radio authority, established in the wake of a law passed by the Knesset in 1990.
Besides conducting tenders and selecting operators, the authority regulates and supervises commercial broadcasts, ensuring that a certain percentage of the broadcast content is produced locally.
The Second Authority for Television and Radio is led by a fifteen-member council entrusted with maintaining the public interest in commercial radio and television broadcasts delivered by licensed stations owned and operated by entities in the private sector. Until the establishment of the Second Authority most radio and television media in Israel were public broadcasting services delivered under the auspices of the Israel Broadcasting Authority (the IBA). This included the country's then-single television channel and several radio stations. Since their inception, the Second Authority's television and radio broadcasts have been operating alongside, and essentially in competition with, the broadcasts of the IBA.
The authority handles citizen complaints, ensures that commercial advertisements are run within the allotted time and ensures that the operators maintain a certain mix of program genres as stipulated in their licenses. About 2% of the broadcast time on the commercial channels is reserved for various public-interest programs, which are produced by the authority itself.
The authority is also in charge of establishing and maintaining the nationwide DTT (DVB-T) infrastructure in Israel (also known as the "IDAN" project) which is utilized by both the Second Authority as well as the Israel Broadcasting Authority. In March 2011 analog television broadcasts in Israel ceased and since then terrestrial television is only broadcast digitally over the IDAN network.
The Second Authority issues licenses for commercial television and regional radio stations by putting those services up for tender and selecting operators from the tender responders. The Authority established the first commercial television station in Israel, Channel 2, in November 1993 after several years of test broadcasts. Three franchisees were selected to operate the channel in the initial tender, Keshet, Reshet, and Telad, each of which were reserved certain broadcast days during the week and collected ad revenues for those days. Also, a fourth company was established, the Israeli News Company which is responsible for producing the daily news broadcasts shown on Channel 2. The channel has become successful and has provided a good return on investment to the three operators.
In 1995, the authority divided the country into regions and put up for tender licenses for 14 commercial regional radio stations. These are generally geographical in nature, but in practice there is considerable overlap between the various regions. In 2002 the authority established an additional commercial television station, Channel 10. In 2004 the network's operators and license provisions were reorganized to revitalize the station. In 2005, the original tender for Channel 2 expired and the network was re-bid, and is now run by two operators instead of three.