Channel 20 on Thursday lost its bid to produce, manage and broadcast the Knesset Channel following a court appeal by the competitors that lost out on the tender.
On Tuesday the Justice Ministry announced it would not defend the decision to award the contract to Channel 20, forcing the council to withdraw the offer. The council will now examine the bid of RGE Group, the owner of Channel 10.
“At this stage, and although the council still believes that the winning bid offered the best content, in view of the legal opinion there is no choice but to declare the rejection of the winning bid,” the council announced.
Channel 20 had been due to begin running the Knesset Channel on July 27, but following the court’s ruling the current broadcaster, Hadashot, will continue until a further decision is made.
Hadashot claimed in its petition that the content proposed in Channel 20’s application did not fulfill the requirements listed in the tender. A spokesperson for Hadashot on Thursday described the court’s decision as “an unprecedented legal victory,” adding that the result was due “to the insistence of the news company on the principles of fair, equal and transparent bidding.”
Since its founding in 2006, the Knesset Channel, which broadcasts all the plenary sessions from the parliament and a range of political and current events programs, has been run by Channel 2.
According to the council’s statement, Channel 20 had received the most points in a system measuring whether the production companies fulfilled the criteria to run the Knesset Channel.