Nine TV stations make licensing tender shortlist

Nine TV stations make licensing tender shortlist

A short list of nine private TV channels that will take part in a state licensing tender later this month was announced on Thursday, amid criticism that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is conducting a purge of stations that oppose him.

The nine include Alpha, Skai, Antenna, Epsilon and Star channels.

The leftist-led coalition has vowed to clean up the country’s beleaguered TV industry, long accused of corruption and of striking illicit deals with prominent politicians.

However, opposition parties and critics say Tsipras wants to make way for channels that back his government and cite the case of Mega TV, a strong critic of the government which did not make the list.

Opening bids for the four 10-year licenses on offer will start at 3 million euros.

The government has repeatedly stated its intention to scrap stations heavily indebted to the state and banks, and to grant licenses solely to stations that are financially sustainable.

Greece’s TV stations, which have operated with provisional licenses over the last quarter-century, have struggled in recent years, hard hit by plummeting advertising revenues.

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