Greek television industry and broadcasting in Greece

greek tvPublic Broadcasting: The public broadcaster in Greece is Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT). It operates several TV channels, including ERT1, ERT2, ERT3, and ERT Sports, which offer a range of programming such as news, documentaries, entertainment shows, sports, and cultural content.

Private Channels: Greece has several private television channels that offer diverse programming. Some of the popular private channels include ANT1, Mega Channel, Skai TV, Alpha TV, and Star Channel. These channels broadcast a mix of news, sports, talk shows, reality shows, dramas, and international content.

Content and Genres: Greek television offers a variety of genres, including news, entertainment, drama series, comedies, reality shows, sports, and documentaries. Greek dramas, known as “telenovelas,” have gained popularity not only in Greece but also in other countries.

News and Current Affairs: Greek television networks have dedicated news channels, such as SKAI 100.3, Alpha News, and Open Beyond TV (formerly Epsilon TV). These channels provide 24/7 news coverage, current affairs programs, and political debates.

Reality Shows: Reality shows have become a significant part of Greek television. Shows like “Survivor Greece,” “Big Brother Greece,” and “Dancing with the Stars” have gained wide viewership and have been adapted from international formats.

Sports: Greek television covers a range of sports, with football (soccer) being the most popular. Major football leagues, such as the Greek Super League, UEFA Champions League, and international tournaments like the FIFA World Cup, are broadcasted on Greek channels. Other popular sports in Greece include basketball, volleyball, and water sports.

Digital Transition: Like many other countries, Greece has undergone a digital transition in television broadcasting. Analog broadcasting was switched off in 2015, and now most Greek channels broadcast in digital format, providing better picture quality and additional services like high-definition (HD) channels and interactive features.

Streaming and Online Platforms: Greek television has also embraced online streaming platforms. Some Greek channels offer live streaming of their content through their official websites and mobile apps, allowing viewers to watch their favorite shows and events online.

The deregularisation of Television in Greece has resulted in a lack of quality, low standards soap operas, pop idol type shows ,cheap and trashy big brother type reality shows and a plethora of TV games that offer hundreds of thousands of EURO hooking to people’s desire to gamble all interspersed with huge chunks of commercial breaks. The incoming cash from advertisement ,marketing and telephon calls to interact with a programme must be astronomical.

Most of the movies are shown late in the night and many of them are cheap Hollywood productions made for television. That probably explains the latest fashion in Greece where almost every newspaper and magazine comes on weekend with tons of free DVD movies. The Greeks don’t buy anymore news papers that reflect their political views ,they just buy 2 ,3 maybe 5 news papers just for the movies. I have seen with my own eyes ,people in news agencies browsing magazines and newspapers not for the news but for the DVD films.

The news in most of the private stations has become a kind of variety show ,some times over 2 hours ,with a panel of various people from all the spectrum of the Greek celebrity world discussing the theme of the day shouting all together in 4-6 windows on a screen ,among them ,the presenter journalist plays only the role of the referee.Another irritation in prime time news is that if a big disaster or scandal ,including politics and social events and generally about life in Greece, the time consumed is more then the 50% of the programme.

Sometimes ,the world news gets a smaller chunk of space then even the daily sports review.There is another kind of war in Greece among the big Television Stations in Greece and this is called the struggle of viewing figures.

Since the Marketing Research Company AGB has planted in more then 1000 Greek homes ,small transmitters that measure the time ,duration and channel that a member of the family watch, made the competition tough.
Presenters ,journalists ,actors walking in and out from the doors of one TV station to another according to their view rate (some of them with astronomical salaries).

Every Monday all Greek TV magazines are gossiping about who made the highest viewing numbers during the weekend according to the AGB statistics about TV. The above does not mean that the whole Greek television is bad .The owned by the state Greek television channel NET has lots of interesting documentaries and sophisticated new wave films and the prime time news is as normal as in the rest of Europe .

In the private channels there are also many programmes and shows that have quality ,among them the show of Lakis Lazopoulos “Al tsantiri news” ,the Greek TV show of Themos Anastasiadis “Ola seven” ,the funny show of Giorgos Mitsikostas “Kodikas Da Mitsi” the shows of the journalist Makis Triantafilopoulos “Zougla” and “yellow press” (kitrinos Typos), the show of Ageliki Nikolouli “Fos sto tunel” (Light at the Tunnel) and finally the Greek phenomenon of Vas Vas o Paraskevas allias the TV show “Je t’aime” of Anita Pania,with eccentric people who perform songs ,dances and theatrical acts.


A big success at the moment in the Greek TV show business has Christos Ferentinos with his worm and friendly character as host in the well known game “Deal or no Deal”
.Andreas Mikroutsikos as well offers daily 300000 EURO at his “to pio megalo pazari” (the big Bazaar)TV game show.
Another show that is loved by the TV gossip magazines is “pio poly tin Kyriaki” (much more on Sunday) with Grigoris Arnaoutoglou.


Another competition war among the private channels is in the morning zone.Most of the channels divide the morning zone into 2 zones from 6 am – 10 am with news and from 10am – 1pm with the usual breakfast and gossip TV as in other European countries.Here ,also, the prestige of the show lies in the fame of the presenter,like in the morning news with ,Giorgos Aftias (ALFA),Giorgos Papadakis (ANT1) Terrens Quick (ALTER) Giorgos Oikonomeas (MEGA) and Eleni Menegaki (ALFA)in the 10am -1pm breakfast zone.


Unfortunatelly with the exception of ERT Star channel there are no daily children’s programs in Greece among the nationwide networks.


There are some good Greek TV series at the moment with “Sto para pente” as one of the best of them. Some other popular Greek TV series are “Maria i askimi” (the ugly Maria) and “tis Agapis Maheria” ,”to Kafe tis Haras” and many others. But most of them lack the quality of “oi Aparedektoi” (The Unacceptables) 1990-92 with Giannis Bezos ,Spyros Papadopoulos ,Dimitra Papadopoulou and the unforgettable Vlassis Bonatsos ,or the “oi treis harites” with Anna Panayiotopoulou ,Nena Menti and Mina Adamaki. It has been some time now that the “Coronation street” or “Eastenders” equivalent Greek series like “Lampsi” and “Kalimera Zoi” (good morning life) has finally come to an end after 12-13 years of continuous broadcasting.

The TV schedule is an estimate

Just because “Sex in the City” is on at midnight today, it doesn’t mean it’ll be on the same time tomorrow. It may start at 23:00, 23:40 or 1:00. If you’re setting your VCR or DVD player, allow at least one hour before and one hour after the program’s scheduled time slot. Also don’t be surprised if the program never comes on and you tape something completely different. It’s not you.
Here today, gone tomorrow

If you’ve been watching “America’s Next Top Model” or “Gossip Girl” every day at 16:00 for the past month, it can suddenly change to 17:00 mid-week, switch from weekdays to only Saturdays or disappear altogether, even if it’s the middle of the series. Don’t get attached. The good thing is reruns will probably start again next month, so be patient.
Channels tend to play ancient TV series from America & Australia

Shows like “ALF,” “The Nanny” and “Bewitched” run now and again, and some people actually like it. There are some series, such as “Two Guys, A Girl and A Pizza Place” that I’d never even heard of until I lived here. If you missed seeing them as a kid, here’s your chance.
It’s funnier dubbed in Greek

“The Joy of Painting” with Bob Ross and his happy little clouds is even funnier dubbed in Greek — the voice, the choice of expressions, the laughing. For those keeping track, yes he’s dead (rest his soul) — like many other stars of ancient series playing here — but he’s got a second life in Greece.
CAPS mean nothing

Just because the show is CAPPED in Greek TV guides to indicate an English-language program, be prepared to hear Oprah speak Greek. There is no way to know when a program will be dubbed or subtitled, or half dubbed and half subtitled. Sometimes the earlier showing is dubbed, and the 2 a.m. showing is subtitled; sometimes not. Sometimes a BBC program will be half in English and half in Greek with people interviewed in French or German, so you’re in luck if you like inconsistency and linguistic buffets.

“Ugly Betty” is an award-winning show in America originally from Colombia, but in Greece they had “Maria H Askima” for your viewing (dis)pleasure. There’s also a badly filmed, cheap knock-off of CSI complete with plastic guns and ridiculous fight scenes.

When STAR played the commercial (above) for a new spy/assassin series called “Mr. and Mrs. Kourkoulis,” I thought it was a joke. Nope, unfortunately, it was real. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but maybe it’s just unoriginal laziness.
If you can’t afford a taverna, one will be provided for you at no cost

There is a plethora of programs where you can see other people having faux fun at a fake taverna, with red-and-white checked tablecloths on the same rickety tables and chairs, good/skilou singers, trays of flowers, plate-breaking, dancing, posturing and corny banter. Στην υγεια σας, Κοιτα τι εγινε and Το παρτυ της ζωης σου are sometimes on at the same time, which means you can taverna-hop, just like in real life but without face control and the expense. But it also means you’re missing out on smoke inhalation, table dancing, overpriced whiskey, temporary deafness and bad service.

You can experience déjà vu every few months

Channels play the same movies or series on a three-month rotation, as if an infinite number of movies and TV shows didn’t exist. That’s great news if you like Steven Seagal from his lean to sumo years, Sylvester Stallone from mumbly to audible, Roger Moore as 007, Batman and Robin, Jean-Claude Van Damme from brawny to baldy, Wesley Snipes (not Arsenio Hall) and any movie that has a reference to Greece.

If Greek media are on strike, it gets worse with Airplane, Police Academy and Naked Gun playing in succession.

Shamefully, I once watched “Revenge of the Giant Squid” because the movie rental store was closed, and it was the only thing I hadn’t already seen.

Commercial breaks are spontaneous and lengthy

Instead of breaking programs and movies where the director or producer has provided an intentional pause, scenes are unnaturally broken while an actor is midway through his lines or during a key fight scene. And when the program returns — sometimes after an hour of news and you no longer care about how it ends — it won’t be backtracked to the beginning of the scene or the actor’s line.

Many stations run commercials for up to 10 minutes, so mute it and don’t feel bad about walking away to boil some pasta and vegetables. You have plenty of time. Most of good shows are on after midnight

Law and Order, CSI, Nip/Tuck and other shows aren’t usually on until midnight or later. Hello, I have a job. I think it’s a bit sad to take a nap in the middle of the day just to stay up late and watch TV.
Don’t watch SKAI if spiders & snakes creep you out

Kudos to SKAI for having Eco News and shows from Animal Planet, but please give the slimy, venomous and scaly things a rest. Nearly every time I happen by, there’s a close-up of something being killed, cocooned or swallowed whole. Bleck!

More windows on Greek news than in your house

Although 7 of 10 viewers polled said they are unhappy with the quality of TV and Greek news in particular, nothing has dampened the trend of παράθυρα (windows) in which people/politicians are placed in 5, 6 or 9 slots to debate a subject but instead shout over each other without taking a breath or letting anyone finish a sentence. It’s like a dysfunctional Hollywood Squares without the prizes.

Now, unless you are watching BBC, CNN, “Apodexeis” with Nikos Evangelatos, “Fakeloi” or a DVD, it pretty much sits in the corner and collects dust, though I also blast the TV volume to drown out the incessant whining and screaming of children of all ages.