The Greek government announced the shortlist of nine private TV channels on Thursday, August 11, as part of the controversial licensing tender. The country’s leftist government has often been accused of political bias, after announcing that the number of private TV channels would have to be decreased.
Private TV channels in Greece have been operating under provisional licenses, in some cases for over two decades. The newly issued shortlist did not include Mega channel, which is known for having a longstanding feud with the government and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in particular, reported the Agence France-Presse.
The government has decided to grant four 10-year licenses with opening bids starting at three million euros. The bidding process is expected to take place by the end of August 2016.
This move has been part of a long-standing controversy, however, the government still stands by its original plan to clean up the industry and bring an end to under-the-table deals in the media world. After the bidding process is over, only financially sustainable channels will be able to broadcast.
However, several of Greece’s private channels will be forced to close since there are only four licenses available.
Many people in the country believe that this is Tsipras’ way to replace the media representatives who have fought against his government since the very beginning.