Channel 10 (Hebrew: ערוץ 10, Arutz Eser), formerly known as Israel 10 (Hebrew: ישראל 10, Yisra'el Eser) is a commercial broadcasting television channel licensed in Israel. It operates under the auspices of the Second Israeli Broadcasting Authority (SBA). Channel 10 is one of two Commercial Broadcast Channels in Israel, enjoying an average television ratings (in its main news program) of 10.7% (2011). Channel 10 is the only Israeli broadcast Channel to be carried by local Cables in North America and Europe. The channel is also broadcasting online at the official website.
Channel 10 began broadcasting on January 28, 2002. The channel offers original drama series, entertainment shows, news shows, lifestyle programs and foreign programs. The channel also operates its own news company.In 2006, during the Second Lebanon War, Channel 10 News exposed a series of malfunctions in the decision making process leading to the War. Two American presidents have granted Channel 10 exclusive interviews, and during 2011 alone it aired interviews with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, Governor Rick Perry, Dennis Ross, French Presidential Candidate Marine Le Pen and others.
In 2011 the Channel encountered financial difficulties and asked the Knesset's finance committee to postpone payment on a tax and royalty debt to the State. The Coalition of Netanyahu's government, in response, ordered all of its MK's to vote against such a postponement. Such tax waivers were regularly given in the past. Israeli and International press published that the Israeli Government has done so in retaliation to an exclusive story published by Channel 10 news, investigating the way in which Netanyahu financed trips abroad, together with his wife. Following that story, the State Comptroller opened a formal investigation and Prime Minister Netanyahu filled a libel suit against the Channel.
Since 2013, The channel gradually transferred its programs to 16:9 widescreen picture format, which became most of the content's aspect ratio by 2016. In March 1 of 2016, the channel's news programs began broadcasting in widescreen as well. a few of the channel's productions and programs still remain in 4:3 aspect ratio, for which the channel switches its broadcast automatically.
Since November 2008 and, as of January 2015, still ongoing, the station has been in deep financial trouble and is currently on the verge of closing down.
In November 2008, when Channel 10 found itself in severe financial straits, the SBA gave its present owners until March 1, 2009 to refinance its debt. However, in January 2009 the Knesset's Economic Affairs Committee overturned this decision. The decision meant that Channel 10's shareholders, Yossi Maiman, Ron Lauder and Arnon Milchan, would be replaced as the channel's operators in February 2010. The regular broadcast schedules were to remain in place until they are replaced by the new franchisee. The channel owned a NIS 10 million debt, which the Treasury demanded in cash after agreeing to defer the rest of the channel's NIS 28 million debt.
By July 2009, Channel 10 had cost its shareholders have NIS 1.3 billion. It also owed about NIS 103 million more for content, license fees and royalties. The shareholders stated they would not pay the debt. Maiman announced that he and the other partners had no intention of paying any more of the channel's bills, and the channel announced that it was canceling planned productions. In August, the channel's directors undertook to invest NIS 19 million in television content, NIS 4 million more than their previous offer. They also agreed to invest more of the money for dramatic productions. Artist guild representatives said that they would petition the Israeli High Court of Justice if the agreement did not take them into account. In September, the SBA suspended its search for a new franchisee pending the approval of the Treasury and the Communications Ministry. The controversy regarding a profile of US American businessman Sheldon Adelson broadcast by Channel 10 risked leading to the withdrawal of financing from Ronald Lauder, the last major funder the Channel had left at that date. Until the end of 2011 the fate of the channel remained unknown. Finally in mid January 2012, the channel got one more year to regulate its financial obligations and the threat of closure of the channel was temporarily removed. In December 2014, the channel was days away from finally closing down. On the night of 27/28 December, 2014, the station ceased regular broadcast, showing instead the picture of Prime Minister and acting Communications Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the message "In three days, Channel 10 will close. The prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who serves as the communications minister, refuses to find a solution." As of January 2015, the station is allowed to function without a new permanent license for another six months, under the authority of the Attorney General. A permanent decision has been postponed until after the Knesset elections scheduled for March 17, and the formation of a new government. A major reason quoted for the move is of ensuring the expression of a wide range of political opinions on TV during the current election campaign. The half-year breathing space should also allow the station management to balance its finances and perhaps attract a new investor, which would create a solid base for obtaining a new permanent license.
In May 2015, the RGE Media Group of Leonard Blavatnik, Aviv Giladi and Udi Recanati acquired 51% of Channel 10. A month after, the station got a 15-year license from the Second Television and Radio Authority Council.Hacaverim Shel Naor (Naor's Friends) – Most successful comedy aired on Channel 10, featuring comedian Naor Zion.
Achat Efes Efes (One Zero Zero) – Action drama series.
Ahava ze Koev (Love Hurts) – romantic drama series
Ahorei HaHadashot (Behind the News) – reminiscent of The Daily Show
Karov Levadai (Almost Certainly) – mockumentary series
Meorav Yerushalmi (Jerusalem Mix) – drama
Tonight with Lior Shlein – late night talk show
In addition to these shows, 10 also produces and broadcasts the Israeli versions of the quizzes The Weakest Link, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Deal or No Deal, and Jeopardy!, the reality shows The Biggest Loser, Survivor, Beauty and the Geek, The Bachelor and America's Next Top Model and the comedy improvisation show Whose Line is it Anyway?. It also broadcasts Krav Sakinim ("Knife Fight"), a local adaptation of the Japanese cooking competition show Iron Chef. Every Night with Assaf Harel was a late night talk show on Channel 10. In mid 2013, the Israeli version of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition began airing on this channel, hosted by Amos Tamam.
In June 2013, an investigative report by the news program Tzinor Laila (English: Nightline) aired on Channel 10 in which journalists described a type of 'plastic gun', showing how all its parts can be 3D printed and assembled, and the program's journalists managed to smuggle the weapon twice into the Knesset. First, they managed to bring it into the offices of Miri Regev. Second, reporter Uri Even carried the weapon into an event in the Knesset compound attended by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The reporters passed all related security checks, including metal detector scans, and got only a few feet away from Netanyahu.
Though the expose was created for the purposes of raising awareness and the firearm (a Liberator model handgun) was never actually filled with bullets, a public controversy ensued. The Prime Minister's official office issued a statement reading that "the way of action shown in the report is known to security personnel" and that "several other security arrangements, both visible and hidden, exist." The statement also argued that Channel 10's "act was irresponsible and could have endangered the perpetrators of the questionable 'journalistic mission' and cause them severe damage."
In 2009, the Vatican complained to the Israeli government about a TV clip aired on Channel 10 that allegedly blasphemed Jesus and Mary. On a show hosted by Lior Shlein, a clip was shown where Mary was said to have become pregnant at 15 by a schoolmate and the idea of Jesus walking on water was dismissed because "he was so fat he was ashamed to leave the house, let alone go to the Sea of Galilee with a bathing suit." Israel said the broadcaster would publicly apologize.
In another incident in 2009, a reality show contestant called his shoe "Mohammed", sparking an angry response from local Muslims. In a clip, one of the contestants referred to his shoes as "Nasrin" and "Mohammed." Nasrin, an Israeli Arab from Haifa who was voted off the show early, had clashed with him.