Lights Go Out for Greek TV Pioneer Mega, Off the Air

(FILE Photo by Eurokinissi)

ATHENS – It was one of Greece’s first and most followed private TV stations, opening 30 year ago, but Mega TV was switched off the digital platform and its transmission stopped across the country on Oct. 28 after it failed to try to secure an operating license.

It was a pioneer in breaking the monopoly of state TV stations but was taken off the air after the country’s highest administrative court, the Council of State, ruled against motions from officials and 112 employees at the station which wanted a ruling by the independent broadcast watchdog agency which ordered the termination to be halted.

A majority of justices said the failure of Mega channel to participate in a recent tender for nationwide broadcast licenses left it without any legal standing to continue transmitting its signal via the Digea platform, said the business newspaper Naftemporiki.

Mega discontinued newscasts and live programs in September 2016, and also failed to submit an application to alter its broadcast license at the time, but will still be shown on popular subscriber TV platforms, offering mainly reruns of series.

Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras’ party wanted to rein in private stations by limiting how many licenses could be given and critics said it has turned the state TV network ERT into a propaganda organ.

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