Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation

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The Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation[1] (Greek Ελληνική Ραδιοφωνία Τηλεόραση, Ellinikí Radiofonia Tileorasi or ERT, literally "Greek Radio Television") is the Greek state-owned public radio and television broadcasting corporation. Around 88% of ERT's funding comes from television licence fees [1].

On 19 August 2011 the company announced that it would become a public company but no longer state-owned.[2]


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 German 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 immigrant 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 Armed Forces. Between 1967 and 1974, it was used as a propaganda medium by the military government of Greece. The station retained its name and military orientation until 1982, when it was placed under civilian control and renamed ERT2. On September 1, 1987, a third station was added - ET3, based in Thessaloniki, with mostly regional programming focused on 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 will now be NET and ET3, while ET1 will be incorporated into the program of NET and ET3.[2] Additionally the digital channels Cine+ and Sport+ will also stop broadcasting, and their programming will again be incorporated into that of the company's two major domestic channels.[2] ERT World is also scheduled to see a change in its programming to reflect the needs of the Greek diaspora as identified by a survey conducted by ERT.[2] The Minister of State also said that the company would become public but no longer state-owned.[2]


Year Event
  • The Hellenic Radio Foundation, a predecessor of ERT, began broadcasting in the Greek language using radio.
  • Experimental TV broadcasts began.
  • 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.
  • 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 first Olympic Games are broadcast live in Greece from Mexico City.
  • TED changes its name to YENED - ΥΕΝΕΔ (Ypiresia Enimeroseos Enoplon Dynameon - Υπηρεσία Ενημερώσεως Ενόπλων Δυνάμεων - Armed Forces News Service)
  • EIRT broadcasts the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time.
  • EIRT changes its name to ERT (Ellinikí Radiofonía Tileórasis - Ελληνική Ραδιοφωνία Τηλεόρασις - Hellenic Radio 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.
Mid 1990s
  • Switch of all ET stations to the German PAL colour system.
  • ERT gets rebranded again. The logo now becomes colour-coded with a number on top. Orange for ET1, green for ET2, and pink for ET3.
  • ET2 changes its name to NET, (Nea Elliniki Tileorasi - Νέα Ελληνική Τηλεόραση - New Hellenic Television), with a focus on news.
Late 1990s and early 2000s
  • ERT launches a satellite channel, ERT Sat, which begins broadcasting programmes from Greece to other satellite systems all over the globe.
  • NET becomes a general news and entertainment channel.
  • ET1 changes its logo and becomes a channel for culture and education.
  • ERT Sat begins broadcasting on Dish Network, channel 603.
  • August: ERT becomes a Grand Sponsor of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
  • September: ERA-5 and ERA Spor begin broadcasting on Dish Network, channels 722 and 723.
  • May: ERT hosted the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time.
  • Late November 2006: 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.



ERT broadcasts radio programmes under the name of ERA (Elliniki Radiofonia, "Greek Radio"), which it has done since 1988. Under this name, ERT broadcasts four national radio services. The first one, ERA NET, is primarily a news-oriented station, with some current affairs and talk programming. ERA2 is primarily a music station, while ERA3 is more of a classical music/arts & culture station (with some drama thrown in). ERA Sport (ERA4) is a sports-oriented station, with regular news every hour and sports news every half-hour. During the late night hours all ERA programmes air a common night program. For regional audiences, ERT also has 19 regional stations with relays. The regional station in Macedonia is the only one with two separate programme streams and a shortwave service. The interval signal for all ERA programmes are 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 are aired. KOSMOS is primarily a world music station, on FM exclusively in Athens. FILIA is a multilingual station directed mostly towards immigrants, on FM and AM in both Athens and Corinth; the AM channel also airs KOSMOS in the late night hours.

ERT also broadcasts 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 are 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 2 of Greece's public radio stations.


Today there are three nation-wide channels in Greece, two (ET1 & NET) from the Radiomegaron in Agia 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 broadcasts 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

Current channels

Previous channels


ERT is mainly funded by license fees. The fee is a fixed percentage of each electricity bill and is paid along with this bill. It is not connected with actual ownership of a TV set.

See also


  1. http://www.ert.gr/ertae/en/Etaireia/etaireia.asp
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 http://www.ert.gr/index.php/eidiseis/ellada/koinwnia/16681-2011-08-19-09-02-38.html Δημόσια και ανεξάρτητη ΕΡΤ (A public and independent ERT) 19 August 2011

External links

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