JERUSALEM (Sep. 5)
A spokesman for the Israeli Broadcasting Authority said today that general television will be inaugurated in Israel on April 1, 1968. His announcement followed approval by the Cabinet yesterday of an agreement with the Columbia Broadcasting System, under which CBS will provide an advisory service in the creation of television broadcast facilities for Israel. The initial investment for such facilities, including studios and technical installations, was estimated at $5,000,000.
The contract with CBS provides for a $100,000 fee for the first six months, and $50,000 for each subsequent six months, The contract, which is renewable, becomes effective October 1. Josef Stern, CBS chief engineer, is expected here this month to begin consultations with Israeli officials on procedures for the television system. The television service will be started with a daily program lasting two and a half hours. Two hours will be in Hebrew, and 30 minutes in Arabic, Content will be news, public affairs and service programs.
One problem in the projected service is the small number of sets in Israel, about 30,000, because of high prices. A typical modern set costs about $1,000, much of the cost being due to custom and other taxes. The Cabinet is due to consider a proposal to reduce the price of sets to around $700 by cutting taxes on them.
Under popular pressures, the Israel Government started a pilot project earlier this year for educational television. General television has been widely opposed by officials in Israel. Israelis use their 30,000 sets to tune in on Arab telecasts, most from Beirut and Cairo.
Ground has been broken for a television transmission center in an area here reserved for Government buildings. The center will be near the Hebrew University and the new home of Israel’s Parliament.