NEWS published on 20 Aug 2013

Greece: EBU looking forward, not back

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) believes that independent public service media (PSM) is indispensable for democracies, culture and societies.
This is why on 11 June, when the Greek government abruptly shut down ERT,  the EBU felt it had no option but to immediately take action to prevent Greek screens from remaining black, by carrying the satellite signal being produced by former ERT staff and streaming it on our website.
The EBU made a commitment to supply satellite capacity and relay the ex-ERT signal until a terrestrial signal carrying basic public service media output could be established. This pledge has been honoured.
In the past ten weeks, the EBU has delivered 8.5 million live streams for a total of 4.4 million hours of cumulative viewing to 2.5 million unique visitors. Today, there are encouraging signs that a new public service broadcaster will soon be operational in Greece.
An interim broadcaster has been launched and the Greek Parliament has adopted new media laws that will form the foundation for an independent public service media (PSM). It has been officially announced that almost 600 new staff members are to be recruited for the interim broadcaster with another 1,400 to follow when the new PSM is established; programme production is on the increase and a news service will shortly be launched.
Now the time has come to focus on the future; the need for the EBU streaming has ended and from 09:00 AM (CEST) on Wednesday, 21 August, the service will no longer be available.
Ultimately, it is the Greek audience that will pass editorial judgment on what is now a matter of national focus.
The EBU has not worked alone in its campaign for the restitution of public service media in Greece.  It welcomes and applauds the tireless contribution of ex-ERT staff in maintaining a valuable service during this challenging time.
The EBU remains committed to offering its support and expertise to help Greece's new public broadcaster fulfil its potential for independence and solid governance.