Authorities in Greece say popular private broadcaster Mega Television has dropped out of the bidding for a national television license, under an overhaul of broadcasting regulations ordered by the country's left-wing government.

The government's Information Ministry said late Tuesday that four bidders including Mega had been eliminated from the first round license auction, with seven remaining.

Once Greece's most popular private network, Mega has faced financial difficulties in recent months, falling behind on payroll and other payments — the latest casualty in the country's financial crisis that has hammered news media companies.

Despite fierce criticism from opposition parties, the government argues the overhaul is vital to stamp out alleged corrupt transactions involving media owners with stakes in public works contracts.