Greece

The media of Greece refers to mass media outlets based in the Republic of Greece. Television, magazines, and newspapers are all operated by both state-owned and for-profit corporations which depend on advertising, subscription, and other sales-related revenues.

Print media

The main newspapers in Greece are Kathimerini (established 1919, 47,682 copies daily in 2010), To Vima (1922, 44,144 copies in 2010), Ta Nea (1931, 55,014 copies in 2010) and ?leftherotypia (1975, 40,848 copies in 2010). Online news portals include in.gr, TV Without Borders, and The Press Project

In 2010 there were 82 national newspapers in Greece, of which 8 morning editions, 13 evening, 22 Sunday and 16 weekly. Sunday newspapers remained the main format, with 56.2% of sales. Most Sunday readers in 2010 chose Proto Thema and To Vima tis Kyriakis (189,389 and 187,664 copies) followed by Kyriakatiki Eleftherotypia (153,085 copies).
607 regional/local editions also circulated, of which 65 for Attica. The free press was introduced in Greece in 2000 with Metrorama (later Metro), later followed by City Press.

Introduction of private television in the late 1980s likely led to a decline of newspapers sales throughout the 1990s, from a daily average of 2.6m copies in 1989 to 1.9m in 1992.

The press market in Greece shows a strong concentration of ownership among few publishers: Lambrakis Press S.A., Pegasus Publishing and Printing S.A (Bobolas Publishing Group), Tegopoulos Publishing S.A (Tegopoulos Publishing Group), Kathimerini Publications S.A. (Alafouzos Publishing Group) and Acropolis (Apogevmatini Publishing Group). Interest- and sector-based magazines also have a strong market in Greece, with around 174 magazines in 2010; glossy publications have to compete with Sunday supplements of newspapers, including popular issues such as To Vima’s Vimagazino.

Examples of new models of journalism include the Editors’ Newspaper (EfSyn), the magazine Unfollow and the online Press Project. Online news portals include in.gr, TV Without Borders, and The Press Project.

Publishing

The Greek publishing industry mainly features small and medium enterprises, often family-based, and mostly founded after the democratisation in 1974, with very little agglomeration among them. Publishing companies active on the Greek market were 374 in 1990 and grew to 841 in 2008. Most of them were based in Athens (82%), 11% in Thessaloniki, and only 7% elsewhere. The market is quite concentrated: 23% of companies published 81% of books in 2008. Only one publishing company is listed at the Athens Stock Exchange. Most of the production is outsourced. Book selling is done through networks of small and medium distributors, selling different publishers’ books through companies salespeople. Book prices are set by the publishers, and since 1998 retailers are compelled by law not to sell at more than 10% discount for the first two years, nor to add more than a 5% surcharge. Average paperback book prices reached 17,00 euros in 2007/2008. VAT on books is of 4.5%, compared to 9% and 19% on other products.

The publishing industry doubled the number of published titles in the 1990s, arriving at a total sale in 2004 of 569.7 million euros. Since then, the market came at an approximate number of 9,500 new titles yearly in 2005–08, of which around 2,000 in humanities and social sciences. These numbers have shrunk since the financial crisis. The 10 leading Greek publishing companies in 2008 included Patakis (346 titles), Modern Times (343 titles), Lambrakis Press (268 titles), Minoas (211 titles), Metaichmio (204 titles), Livanis (193 titles), Savalas (191 titles), Kastaniotis (185 titles), Kedros (180 titles), and Psichogios (146 titles). Other important Greek publishing companies are Ellinika Grammata (2007: 295 titles) and A.N. Sakkoulas (2007: 226 titles)

Bookshops in Greece are more than 2,000, with 3,500 other sales outlets, including magazine retailers and supermarkets. Most of them are in Athens (50%) and in other major centres. The major chainstores are Papasotiriou, Eleftheroudakis, Ianos, Protoporia, Kosmos-Floras, Leader Books, Hellenic Distribution Agency / Newsstand, Fnac, Public. The Greek Federation of Publishers and Booksellers is member of the International Publishers Association (IPA), the Federation of European Publishers (FEP) and the European Booksellers Federation (EBF).

The main book fair in the country is the International Thessaloniki Book Fair, held every year in April or May and open to the public. It is organised by the NationalBook Centre of Greece in cooperation with HELEXPO S.A., the Hellenic Federation of Publishers and Booksellers, and the city of Thessaloniki, and has the Greek ministry of culture as its patron.

Radio broadcasting

The use of radio is widespread in Greece, with 5.02 million receivers in 1997. The public service broadcaster ERT owns five radio stations: Second Programme, ERA-3, NET Radio, ERA Sport, KOSMOS. Athena 9.84 FM was in 1987 the first non-pirate private radio station in Greece, aired by the Municipality of Athens. In 2010 there were around 1,000 radio stations (56 in Attica) mostly private and with local coverage.

The main channels were the music stations Skai Radio (owned by Alafouzos Publishing Company) with 10.8% and Rythmos (8.4%); the main sport station was Nova Sport FM (7.1%). The International Hellenic Radio Network, managed by ERT, broadcasts Greek radio abroad. Radio programmes in other languages than Greek are foreseen by e.g. Athens 9.84 and Skai Radio.

Television broadcasting

Television broadcasting in Greece was officially allowed in 1951. Broadcasts started in 1966. Television was the main means of information for most Greek citizens in 2010, with 3.7 million households with a TV set. The market was de-regulated in 1989 with the end of state monopoly and the creation of private television stations, that now dominate the market.

The public service broadcasters are ERT and Vouli TV (dedicated to Parliament debates). Eight national TV stations are licensed: 902 Aristera sta FM, Alpha TV, Alter Channel, ANT1, Mega Channel, Skai TV, Star Channel, Makedonia TV. The three licensed local/regional TVs are Tileasti, Tiletora and the Municipal Channel of Thessaloniki. Other 123 had applied for a license in 2010.
Satellite broadcasting channels include the public ERT-World and Vouli TV and the private Antenna-Sat, Mega Cosmos, Alpha Without Frontiers, Star International, Teleasty, Alter Globe, Channel 10, Mad International and Extra 3. Foreign satellite channels are broadcast by ERT for free, including CNN International, Cyprus Sat, RIK 1. The Hellas-Sat 2satellites allows to re-broadcast programmes to Europe, the Middle East and South Africa.

In 2010, the TV market was led by Mega Channel (22.1 percent audience) and Antenna (16.8%), followed by Alpha TV (15.1 percent) and Star (11.4 percent). Public channels have lower viewerships (NET 10.09 percent, ET-3 4 percent and ET-1 3.7 percent). Advertisers likewise favour private channels.

Pay-TV was introduced by Multichoice Hellas with its NOVA bouquet of satellite channels. Poor infrastructure has kept back the development of cable TV (below 1% penetration). Until 1998, only public service broadcasters could lay and operate cable infrastructure. At 8.9%, Greece had the lowest EU rate of cable and satellite TV penetration in 2010.

Main television stations in Greece
Public: ERT1, ERT2, ERT3, ERT HD (Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation).
Private: Mega Channel, ANT1 TV, Star Channel, Alpha TV and Skai TV.

Internet

The Internet in Greece relied on PSTN/ISDN modem dial-up from 1990 until 2003, when ADSL was commercially launched by incumbent operator OTE. ADSL2+ and VDSL2 is currently the main broadband standard. Greece also has 3G and 4G+ mobile broadband (HSPA) and a more expensive Satellite Internet access. Greece has an extensive fiber optic network throughout the country.

63% of the Greek population regularly accessed the internet in 2014.


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