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Reshet, Channel 10 agree merger

The owners of Israel’s Reshet 13 and Channel 10 have reportedly agreed a merger, meaning another potential shake-up of the country’s commercial broadcast sector.

Speculation has been mounting in recent months that some form of rationalisation could be coming after a major change in November last year saw Channel 2 co-franchisees Reshet and Keshet launch their own standalone networks.

Reshet 13 has lagged in the ratings behind Keshet 12 ever since, with Channel 10, owned by RGE, also behind in attracting audiences.

In its first six months as a full seven-day service, Keshet 12 took a 43.3% share of all commercial terrestrial primetime viewing, ahead of Reshet 13 on 35.3% and Channel 10 on 21.5%.

Under the reported deal, Reshet, led by investors Udi Angel, Idan Ofer, Strauss Group and Endemol Shine, would take a 60% stake in the merged company. RGE, owned in equal shares by Len Blavatnik, the Recanati family and Aviv Giladi, would take the remaining share.

Any agreement would be subject to approval by Israel’s Antitrust Authority and Reshet would likely be required to sell its 50% stake in the former Channel 2 News operation, which it still owns together with Keshet.

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