With Reuters

Tevel Israel International Communications won a 15-year general broadcasting license from the Satellite and Cable Television Broadcasting Council, its parent company, Discount Investment Corporation (TASE:DISI) said on Wednesday.

Discount Investment Corporation holds 48.5% of Tevel, which owes the banks about a billion shekels.

The new license replaces the license under which Tevel operated from its foundation. It was forthcoming after Tevel deposited a bank guarantee of NIS 9 million a few days ago, at the council's behest.

A Tel Aviv court in April approved a stay of bankruptcy proceedings against Tevel, 46.5% owned by Dutch cable TV operator United Pan-Europe Communications (UPEC.AS), to provide protection against creditors after it built up debts of more than two billion shekels.

However, if the company enters liquidation proceedings, the council is entitled to revoke its license.

"Granting the license shows faith in the company, which is undergoing rehabilitation," commented council chairman Dorit Inbar. She said the council is working at achieving stability in the broadcasting industry, which is in crisis as investments sink and uncertainty prevails.

The Communications Ministry commented that with the end of the era of franchises, and the onset of licensing in its stead, Israel's three cable TV companies can merge.

Discount Investment shares were up 1.8% at 104.2 shekels in morning trade compared with a 0.8% rise on the broader market.