Israel’s leading pay TV operators YES (“Fauda”) and HOT (“Euphoria”) are getting ready to restart filming thanks to an agreement signed with local broadcasting regulators that will cover potential damages caused by COVID-19.
The agreement will cover damages totalling up to 10% of production costs. That effectively means that if a $10 million show has to stop because one of the actors or a key crew member is diagnosed with coronavirus, the production will receive up to $1 million to cover the damages caused by the postponement of filming, explained Tzvika Gottlieb, CEO of the Israeli Producers Association, which initiated and negotiated the pact.
As in other countries, insurance companies in Israel have refused to cover risks due to the pandemic, forcing governments and private institutions to find solutions that allow production to resume.
The funding will be taken into account via the regulatory obligations of both YES and HOT, which have to invest 8% of their annual revenues into local productions. The combined investment of YES and HOT in local productions represents approximately $102 million (350 million shekels) annually. The broadcasters are behind some of world’s biggest and most innovative scripted series originating from Israel, notably “Fauda,” “Euphoria,” “The Gordin Cell,” “Shtisel” and “On the Spectrum.”
Under the pact signed by the pay TV operators and regulators, actors and staff members at both outlets will also waive their own compensation in the event of a set closing due to a coronavirus outbreak.
Upcoming scripted shows and series set to shoot for HOT in July and August include “What Happened in Oslo,” a Norwegian/Israeli thriller for Netflix set against the Oslo Accords of 1993; the second seasons of “Malkot,” a popular crime show about Israel’s female mafia, and “Shababnikim” (“The New Black”), about students within the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community. Non-scripted shows set to film over the summer include the reality show “Mehubarim” (“Connected”).