Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos is due to visit Israel in three weeks to meet with Minister of Communications Yoaz Hendel and President Isaac Herzog. The upcoming visit is no surprise and is due to concerns that Israel will enact legislation requiring international streaming services like Netflix to invest in the production of original content in Israel.
Such legislation is a serious concern for Netflix and last year senior executives from the company visited Israel to present their case and try6 to persuade the political decision makers that the way to encourage local production is not through a requirement to invest.
Netflix’s position, as previously presented in meetings with senior officials at Israel’s Ministry of Communications is that legislation requiring investment would have a counterproductive effect and cause companies to invest the minimum required, instead of investing according to professional considerations. Netflix claims that since 2016 it has purchased more than 100 original productions in Israel.
The planned legislation follows the conclusions of the Folkman Committee that it creates unfair competition for Israeli TV companies that are required to invest in original productions while the international streaming giants are not.
The Ministry of Communications hopes that the new legislation will be part of the Economic Arrangements Bill that accompanies the 2023 budget. But due to the precarious situation of the current coalition government it is unclear whether the legislation can be enacted.
Next month Disney Plus will launch in Israel and will compete with Netflix and Amazon Prime, which already operate in the country.
Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on May 31, 2022.
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