It Was Worth Going the Legal Route

Klubrádió’s broadcasts over 95.3MHz may continue without interruption

Published: 14 March 2013


With its final ruling of March 5, the Budapest Administrative and Labour Court ended a complex legal dispute over the tender for the Budapest 95.3 MHz frequency, upholding the rule of law and handing down a decision that is satisfactory to all.

The Media Council has on numerous occasions indicated that it is hopeful that the case will be brought to a resolution under the rule of law that is acceptable and incontestable to all, also pointing out that, until that date comes, it will ensure that Klubrádió’s broadcasts will go uninterrupted. To that end, the Council has so far issued a total of 14 temporary licence extensions for the station, which from now on can continue broadcasting under a permanent licence and, just as before, free of any disturbances.

As is widely known, the tender announced by the Media Council for the commercial use of the regional Budapest 95.3 MHz frequency ended with the emergence of Autórádió as the winner, with Klubrádió’s bid being awarded second place. When Klubrádió, exercising its rights under Hungary’s new Media Act, filed a lawsuit at the Administrative Court to contest the winning bid, an intricate legal battle ensued that for a long time seemed impossible to resolve. In this context, it is also worth recalling that, under the previous media act, bidders did not have such recourse of appeal and therefore judicial practices allowing for unambiguous, prompt, simple and unequivocal settlement could never be established. In the wake of the court decision regarding Autórádió, a peculiar legal situation arose, given that both the successful completion and the validity of the tender process became doubtful and questionable. However, since winners at frequency tenders can only be announced after the completion of a tender procedure that is valid and successful beyond all doubt, the parties involved had no choice but to resort to the rule of law and litigate until a final and conclusive court ruling was made.

This ruling was disclosed last week. The court has concluded that Klubrádió was the single bidder in the tender procedure, which is to be deemed as having been successfully completed. This was followed by the Media Council taking immediate action as appropriate, in order to announce the winner of the tender procedure that, in line with the court rulings, is now considered valid and successful. The Media Council will, in the method and format as usual, forward its today’s resolution to the media enterprise operating the radio station that, in accordance with relevant court rulings, has now been selected as the winner.