Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation

Ελληνική Ραδιοφωνία Τηλεόραση
Ellinikí Radiofonía Tileórasi
Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation
Hellenic Radio Television
Type Public broadcasting network (Television, Radio & Online)
Country Greece
Availability Greece
Founded 1938 (as EIR)
Headquarters Zappeion (1938–1970)
House of Radio, Athens (1975–)
Broadcast area
Owner State–Owned
Key people
Dionysis Tsaknis (chairman)
Launch date
1938 (radio)
23 February 1966 (television)
Former names
EIR (National Radio Foundation) (1938–1970)
EIRT (National Radio Television Foundation) (1970–1975), ERT (Hellenic Radio Television) (1975–2013 & 2015–)
Picture format
576i 16:9 (SDTV)
1080i 16:9 (HDTV)
Affiliation Greek State
Official website

The Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (Greek: Ελληνική Ραδιοφωνία Τηλεόραση, Ellinikí Radiofonía Tileórasi or ERT, literally "Hellenic Radio-Television") is the state-owned public radio and television broadcaster for Greece.

Following a government decision, the original company was abolished on 11 June 2013,[1] with its 2,656 employees protesting against the closure[2] and continuing broadcasting via a satellite transmission using European Broadcasting Union equipment.[3] The EBU also began providing Internet streaming of the ERT broadcast.[4]

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),[5] which launched in August 2013 as "Public Television" (Δημόσια Τηλεόραση).[6] 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.[7]

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 establishment 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".[8] The Council's appellate division upheld the original Temporary Injunction three days later.[9]

Until 24 October 2013, ERT's employees 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 Thessaloniki 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 did not affect the regional ERA affiliates that produced 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.[10]

As of 24 March 2014, more than nine months after the decision to close down ERT, the striking workers still run 17 radio stations (15 regional, two national) and a single TV channel (ET3), from the regional radio studios, and the ET3 Television Building in Thessaloniki. FM and AM transmissions continue throughout Greece with some interruptions and shortwave transmissions continue with a weaker transmission power. All radios are also available as webstreams. The TV channel is sporadically transmitted in conventional means (analogue transmitters in Thessaloniki), and is always available as a webstream.

In April 2015, the Hellenic Parliament approved the draft of re-opening ERT S.A. and also voted and approved the draft of re-opening this broadcaster.

As of 11 June 2015, ERT started broadcasting again.[11]


ERT began broadcasting in 1938 as the Radio Broadcasting Service or YRE (Υπηρεσία Ραδιοφωνικής Εκπομπής, ΥΡΕ), initially limited to radio services from Athens, with the Athens Radio Station based in the Zappeion. During the Axis occupation of Greece, the service was renamed as the Limited Hellenic Radio Company or AERE (Ανώνυμη Ελληνική Ραδιοφωνική Εταιρεία, ΑΕΡΕ). After Liberation, in 1945 the service was reorganized as the National Radio Foundation or EIR (Εθνικό Ίδρυμα Ραδιοφωνίας, ΕΙΡ), still based at Zappeion. 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 National Radio and Television Foundation or EIRT (Εθνικό Ίδρυμα Ραδιοφωνίας-Τηλεόρασης, ΕΙΡΤ). In 1966, the Greek Armed Forces began their own TV station, the Armed Forces Television or TED (Τηλεόρασις Ἐνόπλων Δυνάμεων, ΤΕΔ), renamed in 1970 as the Armed Forces Information Service or YENED (Ὑπηρεσία Ἐνημερώσεως Ἐνόπλων Δυνάμεων, ΥΕΝΕΔ). Television was prominently used as a propaganda medium by the Greek military junta of 1967–1974. YENED 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]


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 "ert.gr", "ert3.gr", and "voiceofgreece.gr" 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 were expected to launch on 29 August 2013.[19] The service provider was supposed to employ between 1,000 and 1,200 and will continue to be funded by advertising and tax contributions. The broadcasting activities of NERIT did not take place in any case, because of the decision of the Council of State.


Year Event
  • The National Radio Foundation (EIR) is founded.
  • Experimental TV broadcasts begin.
  • February: On 23 February 1966, EIR launches a full television service under the same name. It is the only national television network in Greece until 1989, when the first private channels emerge. The first sports broadcast is that of the 1966 FIFA World Cup.
  • February: On 27 February 1966, The Hellenic Armed Forces launch their own television channel under the name Armed Forces Television (TED).
  • EIR becomes the National Radio and Television Foundation (EIRT).
  • EIRT broadcasts the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time.
  • TED is renamed as the Armed Forces Information Service (YENED).
  • EIRT changes its name to Hellenic Radio and Television (ERT).
  • 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 and ERT-2 are merged into a single corporation under the name Hellenic Radio and Television (ERT). The two national television channels are renamed ET1 and ET2.
  • A new branch, ERT-3, is launched in Thessaloniki, featuring three radio stations and one TV channel.
  • Switch of all ET stations to PAL colour system.
  • ET1 is rebranded as ΕΝΑ ("One") and ET2 as ΔΥΟ ("Two").
  • ERT launches a satellite channel, ERT Sat, which begins broadcasting programmes from Greece to other satellite systems all over the globe.
  • ET2 is renamed New Hellenic Television or NET (Νέα Ελληνική Τηλεόραση), with a focus on news and current affairs.
  • NET becomes a general news and entertainment channel.
October 2003
  • ET1 gets rebranded again, changed logo and becomes a channel for culture and education.
  • 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.
  • March: ERT launches Prisma+ the first digital terrestrial TV channel in Greece. Prisma+ was also the first channel in Greece fully accessible for people with disabilities.
  • April: ERT launches two more new digital terrestrial TV channels, Sport+ and Ciné+ with emphasis in sport events and films respectively.
  • 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. Cine+ and Sport+ are merged into one channel under the name "Cine/Sport+".
  • March: Cine/Sport+ and Prisma+ terminate their pilot broadcasting period and closed permanently.
  • 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. Many employees refused to leave ERT's headquarters at the House of Radio in Agia Paraskevi and they continued to produce a web broadcasting on Greek, Cypriot and other European news websites. A few days later, the ERT's signal was restored in some analog frequencies around the Greece broadcasting the single strike programme from Agia Paraskevi station.
  • July: On 10 July 2013, after 28 days of black screen in ERT's digital channels, a transitional broadcasting service starts broadcasting on ERT frequencies as ΕΔΤ (Ελληνική Δημόσια Τηλεόραση - Elliniki Dimosia Tileorasi - Hellenic Public Television) from Paiania studios. A few hours later the broadcasting authority removes the letter "E" from the initial logo to the next 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. Βουλή Τηλεόραση (Vouli Tileorasi - Parliament Television) is broadcasting Greek Parliament's sessions and documentaries.
  • August: On Wednesday 21 August 2013, ΔΤ starts live broadcasting with: "Πρωινή ενημέρωση" (Proini Enimerosi - Morning News) from its Katehaki headquarters in several public TV frequencies. 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. The Broadcaster launched a new design of "ΔΤ" logo.
  • September: On 26 September 2013 in the morning, the Ελληνική Δημόσια Ραδιοφωνία (Elliniki Dimosia Radiofonia - Hellenic Public Radio Broadcasting) starts live broadcasting with a single radio programme called Πρώτο Πρόγραμμα (Proto Programma - First Programme) in several public radio frequencies. Additionally, launched www.hprt.gr, as official website of Hellenic Public Radio Television.
  • November: On 7 November 2013 in the dawn, a police operation took place in order to evacuate the main building in Agia Paraskevi, where many redundant workers had been broadcasting for 148 days.
  • December: On 1 December 2013 ΔΤ stopped using DIGEA platform. Then ΔΤ is on air using the past ERT emitters with three different frequencies: In first frequency (23 UHF from Athens), ΔΤ emits 3 TV channels (ΔΤ1, ΔΤ HD, Vouli TV) and 3 Radio channels (ΔΡ1, ΔΡ2, ΔΡ3). ΔΤ1 is the main (and mostly one) ΔΤ broadcasting TV channel. The logo ΔΤ remains unchanged. ΔΤ HD (Dimosia Tileorasi High Definition) broadcasts mainly the same programme with ΔΤ1. The logo of ΔΤ HD is the same with ΔΤ with a small label "HD" in the right side. Technical details of ΔΤ HD: test card 1080i and Dolby surround Digital Plus. ΔΡ1, ΔΡ2 and ΔΡ3 broadcasts the same radio programme. In second frequency (37 UHF), ΔΤ emits 4 digital TV channels (EΔΤ, TV5 Europe, Novacinema 1 and Novasports-Disney XD). EΔΤ broadcasts exactly the same programme with ΔΤ1. In third frequency (56 UHF from Thessaloniki), ΔΤ emits 4 TV channels (ΔΤ2, RIK, BBC and DW). ΔΤ2 broadcasts exactly the same programme with ΔΤ1.
  • March: On Monday, 10 March 2014, at 7 a.m., the Ελληνική Δημόσια Ραδιοφωνία (Elliniki Dimosia Radiofonia - Hellenic Public Radio Broadcasting) starts the live broadcasting of a second radio programme called Τρίτο Πρόγραμμα (Trito Programma - Third Programme) along with Πρώτο Πρόγραμμα (Proto Programma - First Rrogramme).
  • April: On Good Friday, 18 April 2014, ΔΤ2 broadcast a different TV programme to cover only the Basketball Euroleague Play-off game between Panathinaikos B.C. and CSKA Moscow. The temporary logo of ΔΤ2 is the same with ΔΤ with a small label "2" in the right side.
  • May: On Sunday, 4 May 2014, at 6 p.m., when the evening news was started, the Hellenic Public Television changes name and its logo. So, the new television broadcaster's name is officially NERIT (Νέα Ελληνική Ραδιοφωνία, Ίντερνετ, Τηλεόραση - Nea Elliniki Radiofonia, Internet, Tileorasi - New Hellenic Radio, Internet and Television) with a single programme called "Nerit", which broadcasts in 4 TV channels (Ν1, Ν SPORTS, Ν HD). The current logo of N channel is the letter "N" designed like a ribbon. Also, the Hellenic Public Radio become "NERIT Radio" with two radio programmes (Proto Programme and Trito Programme), which broadcasts in 6 Radio channels (N-1, N-2, N-3, n-1, n-2 and n-3). Finally, the new NERIT webpage (www.nerit.gr) replaced the official website of past Hellenic Public Radio Television (www.hprt.gr).
  • August: On Friday morning, 15 August 2014, the Nerit's sports channel (N Sports) was changed to N2 for a couple of hours, in order to broadcast the Patriarchal Mass of Decapentaugustos from Panagia Soumela Monastery, Trabzon, Turkey. After the end of the Mass, the channel resumed as N Sports broadcasting playback sports programme.
  • October: N2 was used again on 26 October to broadcast the Holy Mass and Doxology from the Church of St. Demetrius of Thessaloniki, while N channel was broadcasting the Patriarchal and Synodic Mass from the Church of St. Demetrius in Agios Dimitrios of Athens, officiated by Patriarch John X of Antioch.
  • November: N2 was used on 30 November for last time, to broadcast the Holy Mass from the Church of St. Andrew in Patras, while N channel was broadcasting the Patriarchal and Synodic Mass of the Throne in Constantinople from the Patriarchal Church of St. George in Fener, Istanbul, Turkey, officiated by Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople and Pope Francis.
  • January: On Thursday, 1 January 2015, the Nerit's sports channel (N Sports) was replaced by NERIT Plus (N Plus), the new non-exclusive-sport channel of NERIT TV.
  • April: On Wednesday, 15 April 2015, the Parliamentary Committee of the Greek Paraliament approved the draft of re-opening ERT S.A. Finally, on Tuesday, 28 April 2015, the Hellenic Parliament has voted and approved the draft of re-opening ERT S.A.
  • June: On Thursday, 11 June 2015, at 6 a.m. ERT S.A. started broadcasting again. Hence, NERIT S.A. definitely closed. The renewed ERT broadcasts four digital TV channels (ERT1, ERT2, ERT3 and ERTHD which broadcast ERT1 program in High Definition) and seven different radio programs (Proto Programma, Deutero Programma, Trito Programma, Filia,ERA Sport, KOSMOS and the world-wide program Voice of Greece).
  • May: On May 3, 2016 ERT world relaunched, at least over Europe.



ERT broadcast radio programmes under the name of Ellinikí Radiofonía , since 1988. Under this name, ERT broadcasts four national radio services:

In the cities of Athens and Corinth aired one additional programme, FILIA. It was a multilingual station direct mostly towards immigrants, on FM and AM; the AM channel also aired KOSMOS in the late night hours.

ERT 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 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 were considered closed, but in fact continued to broadcast in a form of a "guerilla" network. All ERT radio stations joined the main body of ERT as of June 11, 2015.



ERT1 (as a continuation of the former NET) is the main news and current affairs channel. ERT1 broadcasts the news at 6:00, 12:00, 15:00, 18:00, 21:00 and 00:00. ERT1 transmits a series of live news and current affairs programmes round the clock. Among these emissions include ERT UPDATE, ERT WORLD, ON ERT, ERT FOCUS and living in GREECE.


ERT2 (as a continuation of the former ET1) is the entertainment and sports channel of ERT. It transmits a range of recreational and sports programs, disappeared from emissions ERT archives, documentary, artistic shows, cartoons, dramatic series and major sporting events.


ERT3 is ERT's only channel, which does not broadcast from Athens, but Thessaloniki (the second largest city in Greece). The channel's programme contains short news bulletins every hour and two main longer editions at 13:00 and 19:00. The shows broadcast on the channel include: EPIKOINONIA (communication), ALLERT3, REAGENT, Zona Rosa, HEALTH and archive 3.

TV channels


Former, discontinued channels:


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


ERT is mainly funded by a license fee, paid with the electricity bill (along with other applicable taxes) which represents the vast majority of the resources of the public group. The fee was 4.74 euros per month in 2013, but was reduced to 3 euros per month upon the launch of NERIT. It is 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.

Corporate identity

The opening bars of Tsopanakos Imouna (Greek: Τσοπανάκος ήμουνα) is ERT’s corporate theme tune, as well as their interval signal on radio.[20]

See also


  1. Government Gazette (11 June 2013).
  2. "Greek public broadcaster ERT to be shut down, reopened with fewer employees". ekathimerini.com. 11 June 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  3. O'Carroll, Lisa (12 June 2013). "ERT shutdown: European Broadcasting Union sets up makeshift studio". The Guardian. London.
  4. Monitor ERT online
  5. "Νέα Ελληνική Ραδιοφωνία, Ίντερνετ και Τηλεόραση" [New Hellenic Radio, Internet and Television] (PDF). www.minpress.gr. 12 June 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  6. Fallout in Athens and Brussels over Greek TV shutdown | euronews, world news
  7. Smith, Helena (15 June 2013). "Greek prime minister backtracks on decision to close public broadcaster". The Guardian. London.
  8. Temporary Injunction of 17.6.2013 by the President of the Council of State (in Greek)
  9. Decision of 20.6.2013 by the appellate division of the Council of State (in Greek)
  10. "Η κυβέρνηση κατέβασε το δορυφορικό σήμα της ΕΡΤ" [The Government pulled ERT's satellite signal]. http://www.ertopen.com. 24 October 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2013. External link in |publisher= (help)
  11. Ξεκίνησε τη λειτουργία της η ΕΡΤ
  12. "Δημόσια και ανεξάρτητη ΕΡΤ" [A public and independent ERT]. www.ert.gr. 19 August 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  13. Article 44 of the Greek Constitution allows the President following a Cabinet proposal "under extraordinary circumstances of an urgent and unforeseeable need" to issue legislative ordinances which have immediate effect but must be submitted to Parliament within 40 days and ratified within three months following their submission.
  14. "Greece shuts down state broadcaster in search for new savings". London: Guardian. 12 June 2013.
  15. http://international.radiobubble.gr/2013/06/the-shutdown-of-ert-live-blog-12-june.html
  16. ERT LIVE relayed by the University of Greece, on Blogspot. 12 June 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  17. ERT LIVE relayed on the Internet by SevenArt.gr. Also ERT LIVE on ThePressProject.gr providing the feed. 12 June 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  18. "EBU urges Greek government to reverse decision on ERT". EBU. 11 June 2013.
  19. ERT: the day after | euronews, world news
  20. Kernick, David. "Greece". Interval Signals Online. Retrieved 14 June 2015.

Further reading

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