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Right-wing Channel 20 wins tender to move to channel 14, likely boosting ratings

Move expected to benefit network by placing it alongside Israel’s 3 major channels on TV remotes; unclear if station, sometimes likened to Fox News, will rebrand

Right-wing journalist Shimon Riklin during a Channel 20 broadcast in Tel Aviv on October 15, 2020. (Gili Yaari /Flash90)
Right-wing journalist Shimon Riklin during a Channel 20 broadcast in Tel Aviv on October 15, 2020. (Gili Yaari /Flash90)

The openly right-wing Channel 20 won a tender Monday by the Second Authority for Television and Radio regulator, and will be broadcast on channel 14 by all Israeli TV providers.

The move will likely help the channel gain further exposure to the mainstream as it will sit alongside the Kan public broadcaster (on channel 11) and popular commercial channels 12 and 13 on television remotes.

Channel 20 won the tender over the Arabic-language Hala TV channel and the Channel 24 Israeli music network, with a bid of NIS 5 million ($1.54 million).

It was not immediately clear whether the channel would change its name.

Channel 20, with presenter Shimon Riklin, celebrates its approved move to channel 14 (Whatsapp)

As part of frequent changes in Israel’s television landscape in recent years, channel 14 briefly broadcast what had previously been Channel 10, before it merged with the Reshet production network, with the merger becoming today’s Channel 13. That freed up channel 14 for the recent tender.

Channel 20 began broadcasting in August 2014 as a station focusing on Jewish tradition with a conservative bent, but gradually switched its focus to right-wing and conservative news and commentary programs.

Sometimes referred to as Israel’s Fox News for its right-of-center programming and claim to offer a counterbalance to the “left-wing mainstream media,” the channel received permission to broadcast its own news programs in December 2016.

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