Greece Cuts Back On TV Stations; Sky Takes $4.5M Stake In Molotov – Global Briefs

Associated Press

In a shakeup for Greek broadcasting, the country has awarded just four broadcasting licenses, a move that drastically cuts back the number of TV channels operating there. Skai TV and Antenna won two of the four licenses, with the other two going to new entrants, Greek ship owner Evangelos Marinakis and contractor Yannis Kalogritsas, after a bidding round held over three days.

With only four licenses offered, some of the eight private channels now broadcasting in the country will have to close. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s says the move will help regulate the sector and is in line with its international bailout obligations. But critics say the move will result in a curbing of free speech and put thousands of people out of work. The new licenses take effect in 90 days, but will most certainly be challenged in the courts.

Sky has taken a €4 million ($4.49 million) stake in France’s Molotov, an over-the-top video platform that distributes free and pay TV channels and content to consumers via a “freemium” model. The investment is part of a larger Molotov financing round, according to Sky’s release, and the latest in a series of Sky investments in innovative start-up companies. The company released no further details as what the larger financing round entails.

Molotov was launched in 2014 by AlloCiné founder JeanDavid Blanc, Canal+ founder and Cannes Film Festival President Pierre Lescure and Jean-Marc Denoual, former senior executive at TF1 Group. Molotov unveiled launched its first publicly available service in July.

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