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ERT to shift top-tier sports properties to flagship channel amid wider reshuffle

Italy face Greece in n UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier (Photo by Marco Rosi/Getty Images)

Greek public broadcaster ERT is set to undergo a major revamp of its output which will see top-tier sporting properties exploited on its flagship ERT1 channel as part of a wider reshuffle.

Constantine Zoulas, ERT chair, has stated properties such as the Olympics and Greek national team football matches will now be broadcast on the channel and in high definition.

As a result, ERT Sports, the broadcaster’s sport-dedicated channel, will be downgraded to standard definition, but will continue to broadcast properties which ERT still holds. Those properties include a handful of Greek top-tier Super League 1 football team home matches, FIA Formula 1 motor racing and International Basketball Federation events.

The board of ERT is now looking to make ERT1 a multi-thematic channel with sports content sitting alongside news, film and entertainment content.

Greek publication digitaltvinfo.gr also reported that ERT has placed 400 employees into voluntary redundancy as further cost-cutting measures are explored.

ERT has been under considerable scrutiny since last summer’s general election, which saw the New Democracy party come to power and slash ERT’s funding for sports-rights acquisition.

The previous Syriza government signed off on a glut of sports rights that the incumbent party did not feel represented value. Consequently, ERT sought to renegotiate a number of contracts, including protracted discussions over the rights to the second-tier Super League 2 football league.