Greece’s independent regulator granted TV licenses to five of six bidders after a 12-hour meeting this week.
The National Council for Radio and Television (NCRT) announced that SKAI TV, STAR, Alpha, Antenna and E TV have been unanimously approved to continue their broadcasts. The application of newly-founded Tileoptiki Elliniki was rejected.
This means that the number of broadcasters with national reach will be reduced from the current eight to five.
Communications Minister Nikos Pappas hailed the decision, saying it was about time the sector was regulated and paid a price for the right to transmit.
“The state regulates. Piracy ends. Permits cost,” Pappas said.
In 2016 a license auction, overseen by Pappas amid protests, cut the number of nationwide broadcasters to four.
However, this was ruled unconstitutional by Greece’s top administrative court, the Council of State, because it was not overseen by the independent regulator, the NCRT.
Last year, the NCRT invited media groups to again compete for seven 10-year licenses, at a starting price of €35 million ($42 million).