Through twenty-eight successful tenders, small community, commercial and community radios will receive grants amounting to HUF 75 million in the second round of the 2019 tender supporting the production of news as well as thematic and public interest infotainment programmes under the Media Council’s Hungarian Media Patronage Programme. In the category of news programmes, successful tenders were submitted by 101.7 Pécs FM, Rádió 24 of Dunaújváros, Rádió 1 of Keszthely, Miskolc and Győr, Magyar Katolikus Rádió (Hungarian Catholic Radio) of Székesferhérvár, Rádió Szarvas, Amadeus Rádió of Szolnok, Rádió Som of Fehérgyarmat, Rádió Smile of Kiskunfélegyháza as well as Mária Rádió and Jazzy Rádió of Budapest. Grants for the production of infotainment programmes public interest were awarded to Lakihegy Rádió, Rádió Dabas, Paks FM, Európa Rádió of Miskolc and Sátoraljaújhely, Gong Rádió operating in the areas of Kecel, Solt and Baja, Rádió 1 of Kiskunfélegyháza, Pécs, Gyöngyös and Zalaegerszeg, Rádió M of Miskolc, Táska Rádió of Székesfehérvár and Klasszik Rádió of Budapest. Manna FM, Trend FM and InfoRádió of Budapest received grants for the production of thematic programmes.
The Media Council will provide support amounting to HUF 1.5 million for the Primanima World Festival of First Animations taking place in Budaörs from 30 October to 2 November. The board offered HUF 500 thousand each to the winners of the George Pal Award for the most promising Hungarian talent, the Gyula Macskássy Award for the most popular Hungarian film and the Tibor Csermák Award for the most popular Hungarian children’s animation based on the votes of the child-age audience.
The most sponsorship messages came from construction industry companies
The Council approved the latest NMHH study on the sponsorship practices of television stations, surveying the first six months of 2019. The national commercial television channels with the widest population coverage (RTL Klub, TV2) along with the public service station Duna TV were always included in the sample, while Duna World and the commercial channels M4 Sport, Sport1, Sport2, Story4 and Viasat3 were featured in the sample for one month each. A total of 68,491 sponsor messages from 1,038 businesses were aired in the 17,372 hours of broadcasting time of the channels involved in the study. When comparing the data with those of the same period of 2018, we can see that there has been an increase in sponsorship activity in the case of Duna TV and RTL Klub: in the case of the former channel, 5,520 spot ads were aired in the first six months of 2018, compared to 6,086 spot ads in the same period this year, whilst the number of ads increased from 18,502 to 20,359 in the case of the latter channel. Conversely, the number of spot ads on TV2 dropped from 44,146 to 38,988. The most frequently appearing sponsor was Saint-Gobain Kft. with 2,084 appearances, followed by Baumit Kft. with 1,651 spot ads and Leier Hungária Kft. with 1,630 messages. The most sponsorship messages were aired in TV2’s weather report (15,700), followed by the series Drága Örökösök on RTL Klub (2,238) and the programme entitled Család-barát on Duna Tv (2,221). The study can be read in its entirety on the NMHH website.
Media supervisory decisions
NMHH reviewed the fulfilment of the data provision obligations of media service providers for the period between 1 January and 31 March 2019. Pursuant to the Media Act, a certain scope of media service providers are required to supply monthly information to the Media Council to monitor compliance with the requirements for programme quotas. 27 media service providers of 35 radio stations and television channels failed to fulfil the data provision requirements. The Council issued warnings to eight service providers and in 19 other cases, imposed fines ranging from HUF 12 to 125 thousand.
On a programming week of May, local community radio Karc FM 100.2 of Szeged, connected into a network with Budapest 105.9 MHz, deviated from its transmission time brackets, failed to use its permanent name, broadcasted less Hungarian music and public-service programmes as well as programmes facilitating local everyday life than its commitments and failed to air national minority programmes, leading the Council to impose a fine of HUF 200 thousand on the radio’s service operator. Based on the review of another programming week of May, the Council imposed a fine of HUF 50 thousand on the service provider of the local commercial Mega Rádió operating in the Orosháza area for airing less spoken word content and Hungarian music, as well as too much music and more reruns than prescribed by law. Magyar Katolikus Rádió aired fewer news programmes and more reruns than permitted in a programming week in June, therefore the Council called on the radio to adhere to the claim of lawful conduct.
The Council imposed a fine of HUF 40 thousand on the service provider of Rábaközi Televízió for showing on 783 occasions in a programming week in May its notices entitled “Let’s support Viktor Orbán’s programme” and “szavaznifogok.eu” without distinguishing the political advertisements from other promotional materials and without indicating the party commissioning the advertisements.
When imposing a fine, the Media Council always determines the form and extent of the penalties with due consideration to all the circumstances of the specific case and employing the principle of progressiveness and proportionality.
Decisions concerning radio frequencies
At the service provider’s request, the Media Council extended the entitlement for another five years – until 17 November 2024 – of the operator of the commercial radio station 101.7 Rádió 1 broadcasting on the Gyöngyös 101.7 MHz and Hatvan 87.9 MHz local radio frequencies.
The Council has approved the tenders for the community use of the unused Keszthely 92.2 MHz and Pécs 94.6 MHz regional radio frequencies; the documents will be published on the Media Council’s website on Thursday.
At the request of Közösségi Rádiózásért Egyesület (Association for Community Radio Stations), the Media Council permitted Broadway Rádió broadcasting on the Budapest 87.6 MHz frequency to continue broadcasting under the name of Rádió Spirit FM.
As the winner of the tender proceedings related to the Győr 96.4 MHz frequency, Fehérvár Rádió Kft. has informed the Media Council of its decision to withdraw from concluding the public contract, therefore the Council has terminated the contracting procedure. Furthermore, at the request of Lajta Rádió Kft and Radio Plus Kft., the Council has terminated the process of amending the contract based on the service provider’s previous submission, thus Győr 103.1 MHz remains connected into a network with Budapest 96.4 MHz – Rádió 1.
The full agenda of the Media Council’s weekly sessions can be found on the Board’s website, along with the minutes of the meetings and all decisions taken; the latest decisions will be published after the necessary validation and administration period.