Israel drops ‘antagonistic’ BBC World

Israel’s YES pay-TV service is dropping BBC World. Israeli newspaper Haaretz cites the BBC as being “antagonistic” by Israeli viewers, although YES more simply blames low ratings for the channel, not politics.

Perhaps the greater insult is that BBC World is being replaced by France 24’s English-language TV channel.

BBC World has been present on the YES platform for almost 15 years. However, the channel will remain on Israel’s ‘HOT’ cable-delivered system, which has around 500,000 subscribers.

“Customer satisfaction with the channel is low, which is demonstrated in part by the data on the number of people watching it, which is very low,” stated YES. “We believe the reason for this is our broad range of channels, especially the wide variety of international news stations, including six in English, such as Sky, FOX News, CNN News and other channels that can be viewed by all of our customers. The British perspective, which [BBC World] presents, will continue to be represented by Sky News,” YES added.

Although the BBC does not comment on commercial discussions, it said in a Statement that Israel remains an important market for BBC Global News and that it knows  many people across the country value its programming. “The BBC has a long history of impartial and respected reporting in the region. Research regularly shows we are the most trusted international news broadcaster and it would be very disappointing if Israeli viewers were no longer able to access our services,” it stated.

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