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Ellinikí Radiofonía Tileórasi

Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation
Ελληνική Ραδιοφωνία Τηλεόραση
Type Broadcaster (Television, Radio & Online)
Country Greece
Availability Greece (1938–2013)
Worldwide (1996–2013)
Owner Publicly owned
Launch date 1938 (radio)
23 February 1966 (TV)
Dissolved 11 June 2013
Former names EIR (National Radio Foundation) (1938–1970)
EIRT (National Radio Television Foundation) (1970–1974), ERT (Hellenic Radio Television) (1975–2013)
Digital channel Channel 52, 23
Analogue channel Channel 49, 41
Picture format 576i 16:9 (SDTV)
1080i 16:9 (HDTV)
Official website ERT (open website)

The Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation[1] (Greek: Ελληνική Ραδιοφωνία Τηλεόραση, Ellinikí Radiofonía Tileórasi or ERT, literally "Greek Radio-Television") was Greece's state-owned public radio and television broadcasting corporation with approximately 88% of its funding coming from television licence fees. Following a government decision, the company was abolished on 11 June 2013,[2] with its 2,656 employees protesting against the closure[3] and continuing broadcasting via a satellite wildfeed using European Broadcasting Union equipment.[4] The EBU also began providing Internet streaming of the ERT broadcast.[5]

On 12 June 2013, the Greek government proposed a successor organization, New Hellenic Radio, Internet and Television (Νέα Ελληνική Ραδιοφωνία, Ίντερνετ και Τηλεόραση), shortened to NERIT (ΝΕΡΙΤ),[6] which launched in August 2013 as "Public Television" (Δημόσια Τηλεόραση).[7] As protests against the decision of the government (Coalition of New Democracy, PASOK, DIMAR) continued, on 15 June Prime Minister Samaras proposed returning ERT to service immediately, by having an emergency committee rehire selected employees. This offer was rejected by the ERT employees and Samaras' coalition partners.[8]

On 17 June 2013, following an appeal by ERT's employees to the Council of State (Greece's highest administrative court), the Council suspended the government's decision to interrupt broadcasting and shut down ERT's frequencies and ordered the Finance Minister and the minister responsible for media, signing the decision, to take "all necessary organisational measures for the continuation of transmission of broadcasting services and operation of internet websites by a public broadcaster for the period until the establιshment and operation of a new operator that will serve the public's interest". In his ruling, the Council's President found that the government's decision violated Law 1730/1987 which requires "the contribution by a public broadcaster to informing, educating and entertaining the Greek people and the diaspora".[9] The Council's appellate division upheld the original Temporary Injunction three days later.[10]

Until the 24th of October 2013, ERT's employers were able to offer the television programmes of NET (also simulcast in HD as 'ERT-HD') and ET3, and the radio programmes of ERA Athens, ERA Thessalonike and Third Programme through conventional means (analogue and digital TV, FM, medium and shortwave radio broadcasts) as well as over the Internet. At approximately 18:11 EEST, ERT lost their satellite capacity on the Astra 23.5°E Astra 3B satellite after successful lobbying by the Greek Government to the capacity provider SES S.A.. That halted most conventional TV and radio broadcasts that received the feed from the satellite, but didn't affect the regional ERA affiliates that produce their programming locally, nor a large part of Athens which is served by a DVB-T transmitter located within the ERT HQs in Ayia Paraskevi. Web streaming wasn't affected at all. [11]


ERT began broadcasting in 1938, initially limited to radio services from Athens. At that time the company was known as the EIR (National Radio Foundation). In the years of World War II, broadcasting stopped during the Nazi occupation of Greece. After World War II, broadcasting resumed and the radio services were expanded to three national radio services as well as international radio services for emigrant Greeks. EIR was one of 23 founding broadcasting organisations of the European Broadcasting Union in 1950.

Test television broadcasts began in 1965 and full TV service began in 1966. In 1970, the company was renamed EIRT (National Radio and Television Foundation). At that time there were only two TV services – ERT and a second one (ΥΕΝΕΔ/YENED) that was operated and controlled by the Greek Army. It was used as a propaganda medium by the military government of Greece until its fall in 1974. The station retained its name and military orientation until the early 1980s, when it was renamed ERT2 by the then PASOK government. On 1 September 1987, a third station was added – ET3, based in Thessaloniki, with mostly regional programming focused on Macedonia and the rest of Northern Greece.

During the first 20 years of TV services in Greece, ERT broadcasting was limited, starting at around 5pm to between midnight and 2am. Since 1997 the three ERT TV channels are known as ET1, NET and ET3, and broadcast round the clock. ET1 is an entertainment channel whereas NET is focused on news services. ET3 is still focused on Northern Greece issues, although it broadcasts nationwide.

ERT was a major national sponsor and the official broadcaster of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. It has been broadcasting the Olympic Games in Greece since the Mexico City Games of 1968. It also broadcasts IAAF games while it is shown on privately owned channels mainly in the United States. Today it broadcasts documentaries, some from the private sector, and a few animated shows. With the introduction of independent privately owned channels in Greece in the late 1980s, programme quality changed to a more commercial variety, in order to survive the fierce competition for ratings. This was a major shift in the network's principles that was dominated by wider variety, alleged "higher quality" programmes including documentaries and World Cinema.

On 19 August 2011 the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation announced a planned restructuring of the company; ERT's main channels became NET and ET3, while ET1 was incorporated into the program of NET and ET3. Additionally the digital channels Cine+ and Sport+ ceased broadcasting, and their programming were again incorporated into that of the company's two major domestic channels. ERT World also saw changes in its programming to reflect the needs of the Greek diaspora as identified by a survey conducted by ERT. The Minister of State also said that the company would become public but no longer state-owned.[12][broken citation]


At 17:45 EEST (UTC+3) on 11 June 2013, the Greek government announced ERT would close by the end of the day. All 2,656 ERT employees would lose their jobs.

ERT was dissolved by a Common Ministerial Decision that was enacted by virtue of Article 14B of Law 3429/2005 (regarding the dissolution, merger and restructuring of public companies) as amended by an urgent government Legislative Ordinace (FΕΚ 139/11.06.2013, Issue A').[13] Despite running a budget surplus on income from a license fee outside the state budget, in a televised statement, Simos Kedikoglou, the minister responsible for media and the government's spokesperson, said that the ERT was a "haven of waste" that cost more and had fewer viewers than private stations.[14]

Later in the evening, riot police forced their way into at least one of the transmitting stations, and all ERT transmitters were closed down around Greece, as was eventually the worldwide ERT World feed. Using satellite offices and other spaces that had not been closed down, ERT journalists continued to broadcast to the Internet.[15]

On 12 June at noon local time, the AS and IP range of ERT, the official domain names "", "", and "" were cancelled in the Greek Internet registry, meaning that live broadcasts on the Internet (ERT LIVE) have stopped, as well as the publication of all news articles. Emails sent to the broadcasters are no longer delivered. Other Internet assets registered by ERT are at risk of being closed (because their owner and contact address are no longer valid), notably the official Facebook page and Twitter account. ERT LIVE is relayed by other sites, such as the University of Greece.[16][17]

The European Broadcasting Union was quick to criticise the closure, issuing a statement the same evening where they expressed "profound dismay on behalf of Europe’s entire public service media" and urged the prime minister to reverse the decision.[18] The EBU made the ERT stream available on satellite to its members.

NERIT (New Hellenic Radio, Internet and Television)

On 12 June 2013 a Greek government spokesperson, Simos Kedikoglou, announced the formation of a new public service broadcaster, New Hellenic Radio, Internet and Television (NERIT). The company's services are expected to launch on 29 August 2013.[19] The service provider was supposed to employ between 1,000 to 1,200 and will continue to be funded by advertising and tax contributions. The broadcasting activities of NERIT did not take place anyway, because of the decision of the Council of State.


Year Event
  • The Hellenic Radio Foundation, a predecessor of ERT, began broadcasting in the Greek language using radio.
  • Experimental TV broadcasts began.
  • February: On 24 February 1966, full TV service began under the name EIR (Ethnikon Idryma Radiofonias — Εθνικόν Ίδρυμα Ραδιοφωνίας — National Radio Foundation), which, in 1970 was renamed to EIRT (Ethnikon Idryma Radiofonias Tileoraseos — Εθνικόν Ίδρυμα Ραδιοφωνίας Τηλεοράσεως — National Radio Television Foundation). It was the only national channel bouquet for Greece (ERT-ERT2-ERT3) until 1988, and the start of the private channels. The first sports broadcast was that of the 1966 FIFA World Cup.
  • February: On 27 February 1966, The Hellenic Armed Forces launched their own television channel under the name TED — ΤΕΔ (Tileorasis Enoplon Dynameon — Τηλεόρασις Ενόπλων Δυνάμεων — Armed Forces Television), 3 days after the start of the EIR
  • The Olympic Games, held in Mexico City, are broadcast live for the first time in Greece.
  • TED changes its name to YENED — ΥΕΝΕΔ (Ypiresia Enimeroseos Enoplon Dynameon — Υπηρεσία Ενημερώσεως Ενόπλων Δυνάμεων — Armed Forces Information Service)
  • EIRT changes its name to ERT (Ellinikí Radiofonía Tileórasis — Ελληνική Ραδιοφωνία Τηλεόρασις — Hellenic Radio [and] Television).
  • The first colour broadcast is made using the French SECAM system.
  • YENED becomes a public, non-militarized broadcasting corporation under the name ERT-2.
  • ERT-2 changes its logo again, so that the corporate name appears inside a television screen.
  • ERT and ERT-2 merge into one corporation under the name ERT, with five radio stations and two television channels (ET1 and ET2).
  • Another branch is launched in Thessaloniki, branded as ERT3 with three radio and one TV channel.
Late 1988
  • ET2 gets rebranded.
  • Switch of all ET stations to PAL colour system.
  • ET1 was rebranded to ENA(One) and ET2 was known simply as 2.
  • ERT launches a satellite channel, ERT Sat, which begins broadcasting programmes from Greece to other satellite systems all over the globe.
  • ET2 changes its name to NET, (Nea Elliniki Tileorasi — Νέα Ελληνική Τηλεόραση — New Hellenic Television), with a focus on news.
  • ET1 gets new logo and idents.
Late 1990s and early 2000s
  • ET1 changes its corner logo (from a blue to a yellow square), but doesn't change idents.
  • NET changes idents.
  • NET becomes a general news and entertainment channel.
  • ET1 changes its idents.
  • ET3 changes its logo and idents.
October 2003
  • ET1 gets rebranded again, changed logo and becomes a channel for culture and education.
  • NET changes idents.
  • August: ERT becomes a Grand Sponsor of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
  • September: ERA-5 and ERA Sport begin broadcasting on Dish Network, channels 722 and 723.
  • May: ERT hosted the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time.
  • Late November: ERT Sat was renamed ERT World and programming was overhauled to better suit the Greek diaspora, its target audience. Programming is split among 3 zones- Europe/Africa, North America & Asia/Australia with each having its own localized schedule.
  • June: ERT undergoes major re-branding launching new logos for all of its television services as well as new corporate logo.
  • April: ERT adds a new terrestrial channel ERT HD in 1080i resolution and it is the first HDTV free-to-air channel in Greece.
  • June: On 11 June 2013, the Greek government announced its intention to close ERT with immediate effect, and open a new organization under the name: NERIT (Νέα Ελληνική Ραδιοφωνία, Ίντερνετ, Τηλεόραση - Nea Elliniki Radiofonia, Internet, Tileorasi - New Hellenic Radio, Internet and Television). That night, the government shut down every transmitter of ERT in the Greek territory, gradually.
  • July: On 10 July 2013, after 28 days of black screen, a transitional broadcasting service starts broadcasting on ERT frequencies as ΕΔΤ (Ελληνική Δημόσια Τηλεόραση - Elliniki Dimosia Tileorasi - Hellenic Public Television). A few hours later the broadcasting authority remove the letter "E" from the initial logo to the current logo: ΔΤ (Δημόσια Τηλεόραση - Dimosia Tileorasi - Public Television). The single transitional channel of ΔΤ transmits old Greek movies as well as scientific, social and historical documentaries from the past ERT archive.
  • August: On 21 August 2013, ΔΤ starts live broadcasting with: "Πρωινή ενημέρωση" (Proini Enimerosi - Morning News) from Katehaki radio-building. Other sport events such as FIA Formula 1 World Championship and UEFA Champions League are also displayed by ΔΤ (Δημόσια Τηλεόραση - Dimosia Tileorasi - Public Television) with journalistic commentary.
  • September: On 26 September 2013 in the morning, the Ελληνική Δημόσια Ραδιοφωνία (Elliniki Dimosia Radiophonia - Hellenic Public Radio Broadcasting) starts live broadcasting. So, in the end of September Hellenic Public Television/Radio Broadcasting emits a single TV progragramme (ΔΤ) and a single radio programme called Πρώτο πρόγραμμα (Proto programma - First programme) in several public TV/radio frequencies respectively.



ERT broadcast radio programmes under the name of ERA (Elliniki Radiofonia, "Greek Radio"), since 1988. Under this name, ERT broadcasts four national radio services. The ERA 1 (Πρώτο Πρόγραμμα), primarily a news-oriented station, with some current affairs and talk programming. ERA2 (Δεύτερο Πρόγραμμα) was primarily a music station, while ERA3 (Τρίτο Πρόγραμμα) was more of a classical music/arts & culture station (with some drama thrown in). ERA Sport (ERA4) a sports-oriented station, with regular news every hour and sports news every half-hour. During the late night hours all ERA programmes aired a common night program. For regional audiences, ERT had 19 regional stations with relays. The regional station in Macedonia was the only one with two separate programme streams and a shortwave service. The interval signal for all ERA programmes were several opening bars of the folk song "Tsopanakos Imouna" (Once I Was A Shepherd Boy).

In the cities of Athens and Corinth, two additional programmes were aired. KOSMOS primarily a world music station, on FM exclusively in Athens. FILIA was a multilingual station directed mostly towards immigrants, on FM and AM in both Athens and Corinth; the AM channel also aired KOSMOS in the late night hours.

ERT broadcast the Voice of Greece (ERA 5) for an international audience, using shortwave. Under the name of the ERA International Network, Voice of Greece and some ERA domestic programmes were rebroadcast on AM and FM stations throughout the globe. In addition, the ERT regional station in Macedonia can also be heard on shortwave. In September 2004, ERA Spor & ERA 5 were added to Dish Network's lineup of Greek channels, giving viewers in North America access to two of Greece's public radio stations.

On 12 June 2013 all ERT radio stations shut down.


There were three nation-wide channels in Greece, two (ET1 & NET) from the Radiomegaron in Aghia Paraskevi, Athens, the main ERT headquarters. The building's size is 360,000m². There is a large television facility north-east of Athens at Mesogeion Avenue. The third channel, ET3, broadcasts from Thessaloniki and is a regional channel which caters to Northern Greece and broadcasts nation-wide.

ERT also broadcast an international channel, ERT World (formerly ERT Sat), which is only available to international audiences, outside of Greece. ERT World broadcasts as a subscription service or FTA to Europe, North America, Asia & Australia.

TV channels


All but NET (also simulcast in HD) and ET3 ceased transmission 11 June 2013:

Previous channels


For a list of programmes, see list of programmes broadcast by ERT.


ERT was mainly funded by license fees which represented the vast majority of the resources of the public group. The fee was a fixed percentage of each electricity bill (4.30 euros per month in 2013) and was paid along with this bill, along with other applicable taxes. This was not connected with actual ownership of a TV set.

There are modest grants from the government for contributing to educational public missions. And since 2008, some commercial resources from advertisers (even though the channels have lost significant parts of audiences) and the economical crisis in Greece has severely impacted the profitability of advertising and of commercial cooperation for the joint production of programs, as well as the collection of license fees on electricity bills.

See also


Further reading

  • Ignatidou, Sophia. "CNN. 14 June 2013.

External links

  • Official Site (Greek) (English) (Archive)
  • ET3 (Greek) (Archive)
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