Blow for Israeli pay-TV companies

A controversial plan allowing the Israeli cable operator Hot and DTH platform Yes to operate their own news channels has been shelved.

However, it could still become a reality within a matter of months.

Haaretz reports that Gilad Erdan, the country’s communications minister, backed down from the plan, which had been written into the Economics Arrangements Law without any discussion, following strong criticism.

He has nevertheless also made clear that he’ll still sponsor legislation that will allow for the launch of news channels by both Hot and Yes.

Critics argue that such channels would only serve to promote the interests of their owners and ultimately be a threat to democracy.

On the other hand, supporters say it would improve the TV market, where there is currently a concentration in the news area.