Channel 1 (Hebrew: הערוץ הראשון, HaArutz HaRishon, lit. The First Channel, sometimes called 1 ערוץ, Arutz Ahat) was one of the oldest television channels in Israel (with only the Israeli Educational Television being older) and one of five terrestrial channels in the country (along with Channel 2, Channel 10, Channel 33 and the Knesset Channel).

Channel 1
Channel 1's second and final logo, used from 1974 to 2017
Broadcast areaNational
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to 576i for the SD feed)
OwnerIsrael Broadcasting Authority
Sister channelsChannel 33
Launched2 May 1968 (1968-05-02)
Closed14 May 2017 (2017-05-14)
Former namesIsraeli Television (1968–1994)
Digital terrestrial televisionChannel 1

Run by the Israel Broadcasting Authority, it started broadcasting on 2 May 1968, and was largely funded through a television licence, though there were some adverts. With the abolition of Israel Broadcasting Authority and the establishment of the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation, Channel 1 closed down on 14 May 2017 and was replaced a few days later with Kan 11.

History edit

Channel 1's former head office in Romema, Jerusalem (2012)

The law creating the Israel Broadcasting Authority was passed by the Knesset on 6 June 1965. From 1966, detailed planning to build the channel started with assistance from CBS vice-president Joe Stern started,[1] with the television channel starting broadcasts on 2 May 1968.

The establishment of television, originally planned for the 1970s, was felt following the Six-Day War, and it was explained that through television broadcasts it was possible to improve Israeli information to the Arab countries and the residents of the territories.

The station's first broadcast was a live broadcast of the IDF parade on Independence Day, which was held in May 1968, in Jerusalem. The broadcast frequency assigned to the station was the same frequency as Israel Educational Television, therefore the two stations have since shared the broadcast hours on the channel.

After several one-off broadcasts, in August 1968 regular test broadcasts began, initially three evenings a week,[2] which were later expanded to four. During this period, one hour in Arabic and two hours in Hebrew were broadcast every day. The station broadcast in black and white, despite the fact that during this period there were already stations in a few parts of the world that already broadcast in color.

On 1 August of the same year, the first edition of Mabat laHadashot (A Glance at the News) was broadcast,[3] this program was broadcast on Channel 1 until 9 May 2017, and for many years was presented by the host Haim Yavin, nicknamed "Mr. TV". In the same year, on 13 August 1968, the channel also broadcast for the first time the news bulletin in Arabic, presented by Gloria Stewart.[4][5][6]

In the first year of broadcasting, Israeli television operated as an independent unit within the framework of an "establishment team" headed by Prof. Eliyahu Katz from the Department of Communication at the Hebrew University, and several art and media people participated in it, including the artist Ada Hamayrit (Schwartz). The first broadcasts of Israeli television were defined as trial broadcasts. Katz was actually the first director of Israeli television. After that, Israeli television merged with the state radio station, Kol Yisrael, which was already operating within the framework of the Broadcasting Authority (which was founded about three years before).

In 1969, there was a public uproar surrounding television broadcasts on Shabbat, when the Broadcasting Authority's plenum decided to expand the daily broadcast hours and switch from broadcasting four days a week to the entire week, including Fridays and Saturdays, beginning in November of that year. As part of the negotiations for the formation of the government after the elections to the Seventh Knesset held in October of that year, the representatives of the religious parties demanded that the broadcasts planned for Saturday night should be frozen. In the first week of November, when the daily broadcasts began, a commotion broke out over the issue. In the end, Prime Minister Golda Meir decided to temporarily respond to the demand of the religious, and freeze the opening of the broadcasts on Shabbat night. On Friday of that week, in the afternoon, two lawyers, Yehuda Ressler and Adi Kaplan, addressed the High Court of Justice. The judge on duty Zvi Berenzon issued a conditional order and the broadcasts started already that evening.

Since Channel 1 was broadcast on the same frequency as Educational Television, its broadcast times were limited. The channel began its broadcasts at 17:30. When the first hour was dedicated to children's programs, between 18:30 and 20:00 in the evening for broadcasts in Arabic (some claim that their purpose was propaganda),[7] followed by four hours of television broadcasts for adults between 20:00 and midnight.

Most of the hours of Hebrew broadcasting in the 1970s for adults were allocated to the screening of foreign films, documentary content, and commercial series mainly from the United States and the United Kingdom. When the original Hebrew programs that were not current affairs programs were mainly interview programs (such as Petals), programs about a Hebrew singer (such as Sarti Lech Artzi), as well as entertainment formats, some of which were imported from the United States (such as local versions of I've Got a Secret and Hollywood Squares). The most prominent current affairs programs were Mabat LaHadashot that was broadcast at 9pm, which was estimated to be watched daily by about 70% of the owners of television receivers, This Week that summarized the week's news, and Moked, which was broadcast once a week and interviewed a senior politician. Original scripted content was almost never produced, with the most prominent among them in the 1970s being the sketch show Havoorat Lool, the satire program Niki Rosh and the drama series Hadva and Shlomik.

The Yom Kippur War that broke out in October 1973 was the first war in which Israelis were able to watch Mabat's live images from the scene of the battles, close to the actual events, which raised the importance of the television medium in the field of current affairs.

On 19 November 1977, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat landed in Israel for a three-day visit and Channel 1 covered the course of the visit in color for the first time. In 1979, the Eurovision Song Contest was broadcast from the IBA's buildings in Jerusalem live in color to the world and also in local distribution. Despite winning, Israel withdrew in 1980 over the cost of production and failure from the government to increase the IBA's budget.[8] In the following years, Israeli television will carry out additional broadcasts in color in a limited and irregular periodicity. And only in February 1983 did regular color broadcasts begin, with the first color edition of Mabat broadcast on 16 February.[9] In the late 1970s and early 1980s, talk shows of an entertainment nature joined the Hebrew broadcasting schedule on Shabbat evening to provide further entertainment, similar to the late night talk-show format that exists in the United States since the 1950s.

In 1985, the "Israel Television in Arabic" department was awarded the prestigious Israel Prize, for its special contribution to society and the State.[10]

On 15 May 1990, Channel 1 began to distribute its broadcasts on a regular and regular basis also through a communication satellite[11] and this as an addition to the use of terrestrial transmitters that had been customary since the beginning of the channel's operations.

The introduction of cable television and the second channel to Israel in the early nineties undermined the monopoly of the first channel. The most prominent programs that were broadcast in the nineties on Channel One were political debates Popolitica and the satire series The Fifth Chamber, which was broadcast at the beginning of Channel 2. Until 1994 the channel was called HaTelevizia HaKlalit (Hebrew: הטלוויזיה הכללית, lit. General Television) or HaTelevizia HaYisraelit (Hebrew: הטלוויזיה הישראלית, lit. Israeli Television), but officially became known as Channel 1 shortly after Channel 2 started broadcasting on 4 November 1993.

At the start of the 21st century the channel lost its image. Its ratings dropped, it was given the image of an "adult" channel, and criticism of it rose in light of the fact that its budget was extensive and was paid through the television fee.[12]

On 6 May 2012, the channel's broadcast schedule was changed. In the new schedule, an attempt was made to compete with the commercial channels during the prime time hours. As part of the changes, the main news (up until then at 9pm) was moved from 8 minutes to eight and shortened to 38 minutes. After "Mvat" the channel aired the program "HaMosaf" hosted by Geula Even. Every evening at 19:00 the reality program "Let's eat with me" was broadcast, followed by "Hayom Be Sport" – a daily sports magazine.

Technology edit

Satellite dishes at Channel 1's compound in Jerusalem

Since broadcasting began in 1968 the channel broadcast in PAL format. Since digital broadcasting in Israel began it also can be viewed for free using small box. In May 2010, Channel 1 became the first public broadcasting house in Israel to offer HD broadcasting. Their first HD broadcasts were the semi-finals and the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2010, and later the FIFA World Cup 2010. The channel broadcast Mabat, Channel 1's news program, in HD a year after. The channel offered a mixed selection of SD and HD programmes produced both locally and abroad. The HD feed was made available in late 2011, owing to the events of earlier in the year, when television stations in Israel ended analogue broadcasts.

Advertisements edit

Although the channel did not carry standard adverts, during breaks in high-profile programmes (such as coverage of Maccabi Tel Aviv's Euroleague matches) it displayed text on the screen, advertising companies, which was read out word-for-word by an announcer.

In addition to the text advertising, Channel 1 also showed public information films commissioned by the government. During the election time it shows the party political broadcasts.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "אני השולחן הישראלי". Maariv. 28 October 1966. Retrieved 16 June 2023.
  2. ^ Israel 50 book, page about the year 1968
  3. ^ "בכוונת הטלוויזיה – שידורים סדירים עוד החודש". Davar. 2 August 1968. Retrieved 16 June 2023.
  4. ^ "שידור ראשון של מגאזין חדשות ערבי – לתושבי מזרח ירושלים". Al HaMishmar. 14 August 1968. Retrieved 16 June 2023.
  5. ^ "– תכנית ראשונה בטלוויזיה הערבית". Davar. 14 August 1968. Retrieved 16 June 2023.
  6. ^ "גלוריה סטיוארט – קנתה את עולמה בשעה אחת". Maariv. 18 August 1968. Retrieved 16 June 2023.
  7. ^ "תנו לנו טלוויזיה ערבית". The 7th Eye. 1 March 2000. Archived from the original on 7 June 2017. Retrieved 16 June 2023.
  8. ^ Lapid, Yair, Memories After my Death, Jerusalem: Keter Books, 2010 (ISBN 978-965-07-1792-6), p. 239 (in Hebrew)
  9. ^ "Mabat, February 16th 1983, First Edition in Color". Archived from the original on 4 October 2021. Retrieved 16 June 2023 – via YouTube.
  10. ^ "Israel Prize Official Site – Recipients in 1985 (in Hebrew)".
  11. ^ "מאתמול – הטלוויזיה הישראלית נקלטת באירופה". Maariv. 16 May 1990. Retrieved 16 June 2023.
  12. ^ "תקציב רשות השידור אינו מנוצל כראוי וזאת בלשון המעטה". Calcalist. 26 July 2013. Archived from the original on 29 July 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2023.

External links edit