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It took Keshet 24 years on Israeli airwaves to earn its own 24/7 channel, and it took Keshet CEO Avi Nir an additional 100 days after its move to finally breathe a sigh of relief.
On Nov. 1, in one of the biggest-ever shakeups of Israeli television history, Keshet and its fellow concessionaire Reshet began operating their own separate 24/7 channels after years of sharing airtime on Israel’s Channel 2.
Bystanders - Keshet - Rival - Time - Slot
To international bystanders, Keshet, competing against its rival in every time slot for the first time in its history, should have had nothing to sweat. The company has phenomenal global clout, a wide-ranging catalog of formats and a much-discussed reputation for playing the odds and winning. On the global stage, Keshet may be a triumphant David, but in Israel it is a much-revered Goliath. The stakes, this time around, were different.
Keshet and Reshet both have blockbusters on Israeli TV. Keshet has garnered cult followings at home for “Hatufim” (“Prisoners of War,” the predecessor to “Homeland”), spy thriller “Kfulim” (“False Flag”), which was purchased for global audiences by Fox Intl. and streamed on Hulu for viewers in the U.S.; for its interactive, fourth-wall-busting singing competition “HaKochav HaBa” (“Rising Star” on ABC in the U.S. and in more than a dozen other countries) and “Eretz Nehederet,” its scathing, “Saturday Night Live”-esque sketch comedy show.
Keshet - Market - Content - Edge - Reshet
But where Keshet has cornered the market on content with an edge, it’s Reshet that owns the blockbusters. Israel’s versions of “The Amazing Race,” “X Factor,” “Survivor,” “The Voice” and “Big Brother” are all Reshet’s domains. Nir, who is notorious for refusing to even acknowledge his laurels, says for...
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