Over HUF 3 billion worth of funds will be secured for the production of community television and radio programs and film content in the following year

Published: 30 November 2017

The tendering system of the Hungarian Media Patronage Programme will continue next year offering the same grants as in recent years – the planned subsidies for 2018 were approved by the Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority at its weekly session. Amongst other matters, the board allocated over HUF one hundred million worth of grants for the production costs of this year’s television programmes and also approved the most recent report on increased accessibility programmes.

The Hungarian Media Patronage Programme continues

The Media Council approved the planned subsidies for the following year along with the tender goals, categories and scheduling of the Hungarian Media Patronage Programme. In 2018, the plan with a budget of HUF 3.145 billion will continue to comprise the subsidies for the operational and production costs of media service providers, as well as grants for independent Hungarian films, radio and online content, distributed amongst a total of 15 tenders. HUF 400 million will be allocated for the support of the maintenance and operational costs (overheads tender) of community media service providers in 2018, HUF 110 million for technical developments, HUF 420 million for the production of local and regional news and infotainment programs and HUF 300 million for radio programs. As far as non-feature films and public service programs are concerned: the board can dispose of HUF 250 million (Ágoston Kollányi tender) for non-fiction films, HUF 330 million for documentary films (Judit Ember tender), HUF 180 million for animated films (Gyula Macskássy tender), HUF 200 million for animated film series (Attila Dargay tender), HUF 150 million for short films (Zoltán Huszárik tender), HUF 600 million for television films and television series (György Fehér tender) and HUF 100 million for historical documentary films (István Nemeskürty tender). The budget allocates HUF 10 million worth of funds for script-writing and television film draft development (Lajos Egri tender), and HUF 20 million for the on-site production costs of ad hoc events (Károly Escher tender). Artists can tender for grants in the value of HUF 20 million for online public service programs (János Neumann tender). A total of HUF 50 million is available for radio dramas and radio drama series (Miklós Cserés tender). In the majority of film-related tenders, the Media Council will continue to allocate funds for cross-border applicants with the detailed conditions included in the individual calls for tenders. Since 2011, the board has made nearly 2,200 positive decisions on grants for local and regional radio and television stations and financed the production of over 1,000 non feature-length television films, radio dramas and online content in a total value of over HUF 18.7 billion.

As a part of this process, the board has decided on announcing two tenders: it approved the patronage program’s call for tender named after György Fehér on non-repayable grants for the production of television films and series for 2018. As in the previous years, grants can be won for the production costs of maximum 70-minute long television films or two-part series with a minimum of 25 and a maximum of 50 minutes of running time. The board allocated HUF 600 million worth of funds for the support of the winning tenders, awarding the grants in the ratio of the total costs stated in the tender in a way which does not exceed 75 percent of the total costs, or HUF 120 million. The synopses can be submitted through the Hungarian citizen client gateway by 12 noon on 11 January. 8 May is the deadline for the ruling of the Media Council and the films must be screened by 31 December 2019.

Also, as part of next year’s program, the board approved a call for tender with a budget of HUF 400 million for the support of overhead and operational costs of community media service providers. The monthly sum of the support cap per applicant is HUF 600,000 for community televisions, HUF 500,000 for community radio stations and HUF 400,000 for small community radio stations. Just as this year, next year’s tender will also have four rounds, the first of which has a submission deadline of 12 noon on 4 January.

Decision on this year’s patronage programme tender: HUF 108.4 million for 23 local and regional television stations

The Media Council awarded HUF 108.4 million for the production support of regular news, public and cultural television programmes in the framework of the Hungarian Media Patronage Programme. In the third round of this year’s tender for television production support, 23 local television stations were announced as winning bidders. Irány Televízió, broadcasting in Miskolc and Tiszaújváros, received subsidies for public programs, along with TiszapART broadcast in the region of Szeged, Régió Plusz Televízió of Gödöllő, Soltvadkerti TV, Hajdúszoboszlói Városi Televízió, Sárvári Televízió and Gotthárd TV of Szentgotthárd. Szombathelyi Televízió, Keszthelyi Televízió, Vásárhelyi Televízió and Hegyvidék Televízió of Budapest, Veszprém TV, Szolnok TV and Somogy TV submitted successful tenders in the news programme category. The winners of the cultural infotainment programme category include Zalaegerszegi Televízió, Gyula Televízió, Miskolc Televízió, TV Szentendre, Kapos Televízió, Ózdi Városi Televízió, Körös Televízió of Szarvas, Pécs TV and Apostol TV of Budapest.

Increased accessibility programs: the law was mostly upheld

The Authority continued its review on the legal provisions of increased accessibility programs for hearing impaired viewers. Over the course of the inspections of the first six months of this year, over fifty thousand hours of programmes were reviewed. 83.5 percent of the broadcasting time of media service providers featured assistance and 99.8 percent of broadcasting time in which assistance is mandatory featured subtitles or sign language interpretation. In the first half of the year, Duna TV screened the most programs suitable for hearing impaired viewers with 520.6 hours of broadcasting time. Duna TV was followed by m4, m2 and Duna World whilst the channels with the lowest broadcasting time featuring increased accessibility were those of the two national commercial television channels. 99.7 percent of assistance provided for hearing impaired viewers featured subtitles, predominantly teletext captions. In the list of programmes required by law to be made accessible, the law specifically mentions news programmes, public service announcements, sports and weather reports, political programmes, political advertisements and programmes on individuals with disabilities and those on the topic of equal opportunities. The vast majority of media service providers provided accessibility to their programmes, whilst the Authority imposed fines on 12 occasions in a total value of HUF 8.7 million. The board approved the report which it will publish on the NMHH website within three workdays.

Decisions on radio-related tendering procedures

The Media Council performed the formal examination of the tenders submitted for the Miskolc 103.0 MHz regional community radio frequency. The board registered the Foundation for the Patients of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County as an applicant, whilst the bid of FM1 Műsorszolgáltató Kft. – similar to the previously rejected bid of the Association for Youth and Radio – was found to be formally invalid. In the frequency tendering procedure for the commercial Szolnok 90.4 MHz frequency, following formal examination, the board requested the sole bidder LB Rádió Kft. to submit missing documents. The board performed the substantive review of the tendering procedures for the Tatabánya 96.7 MHz local radio frequency and the Székesfehérvár 101.8 MHz local commercial frequency, as a result of which it has requested additional information from LB Rádió Kft. in the former and VLNC FM Rádió Kft. in the latter case.