The Media Council suspended the national commercial radio tender

Published: 8 March 2018

Advenio Plc. submitted a request for a judicial review in relation to the ruling of the Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) which denied its registration in the tender register, therefore, at the board’s recent meeting – according to statutory provisions – it suspended the national commercial radio tendering procedure. The board also decided to provide grants in the total value of HUF six million for the production of six online films and series for the winners of the second round of the 2017 János Neumann tender. The latest study of NMHH reveals an increased presence of product placements in the self-produced programs of national commercial television stations.

Radio-related decisions

Advenio Plc. submitted a request for a judicial review in relation to the ruling of the Media Council denying registration in the tender register. Therefore, pursuant to law—until a final court ruling is made—the board has suspended the tendering procedure for the national commercial radio media service.

At the media service provider’s request, the Media Council has temporarily extended the public contract of the media service provider of Helikon Rádió and Helikon Rádió Kanizsa for the Nagykanizsa 95.6 MHz and Keszthely 99.4 MHz local frequencies for another 60 days, until 14 May, due to the fact that the tendering procedures for the frequencies in question have yet to be concluded. Similarly, the board temporarily extended the contract of the service provider of Fortuna Rádió Paks in the case of Paks 96.3 MHz until 18 June, as well as the contract of the media service provider of Szent István Rádió—Tokaj (for Tokaj 101.8 MHz) until 16 May.

The board has also decided on the five year contract extension requests of two commercial radio stations. Accordingly, the media service provider of 97.7 Rádió 1 broadcasting on the 97.7 MHz frequency and the media service provider of Méz Rádió on Veszprém 103.1 MHz, may continue operating until 25 June 2023. However, pursuant to the provisions of the Media Law, the board has rejected the request of the media service provider of Sárrét FM broadcasting on the Püspökladány 91.8 MHz frequency, as the Media Council has previously determined in multiple final rulings that the media service provider had repeatedly infringed on the media governance rules.

HUF six million for online videos

Four domestic and two cross-border applicants received grants totaling HUF six million in the second round of the János Neumann tender of the Hungarian Media Patronage program announced last year. The fourth installment of the Tiltott kastélyok (Forbidden Castles) online series will be produced: the short film on the castle of the Kemény family of Marosvécs will be uploaded to the site, where viewers can also find the previous episodes. The five-part Kerülj képbe! (Get into the Picture!) series will help viewers learn the basics of photography. Those interested in the subject can watch the brief episodes on the website. The website will feature three new films: a two-part awareness-raising series on the water management of the table-land between the Rivers Danube and Tisza which faces the threat of drying up, a biopic-reality series on reconciling a sizeable family with a career, whilst one of the successful cross-border applicants will be producing a series of videos on the wandering Tanyaszínház theater which visits the Hungarian-populated villages of Vojvodina. The videos of the other cross-border applicant will be featured on the eight-minute-long features will focus on the pilgrims seeking out the pilgrimage site of Șumuleu Ciuc (Csíksomlyó).

The board has extended the submission deadline for the subsequent, third round of the four-round Neumann János tender, thanks to which applications can be submitted until 20 March. As opposed to the previous rounds, private entrepreneurs can also apply for grants in this round—apart from businesses, foundations, associations as well as secondary and tertiary educational institutions.

One hundred product placements screened per day

The Media Council has approved the NMHH’s latest study on product placement in the programs aired on national commercial television stations. On this occasion, the survey focused on the second half of 2017 and analyzed approximately 3,000 programs aired on channels RTL Klub and TV2. A total of 18,341 product placements were identified, which is 38 percent higher than in the same period of 2016 (13,269), which means viewers encountered nearly one hundred such advertisements a day. RTL Klub increased the number of its product placements from the previous year by 70 percent, yet the same figure showed a slight decrease in the case of Tv2. The survey was focused in the previous six‑month period on the self-produced programs of the channels, from which—according to the current trends—the thematic infotainment programs featured the most product placements, representing 54.3 percent of all advertisements.

The advertisements were related to 96 separate programs. Only a single program of TV2, Mokka, is featured in the eighth place on the top list of programs containing the most product placements. RTL Klub’s program entitled ‘Fókusz’ is at the top of the list. The number of brands displayed has shown a nearly one-third increase: 2019 different brands were screened for viewers in the second half of 2016, followed by 2,652 one year later. The most frequently featured brands included Hell, Scitec Nutrition and Liget Club, thus ousting the leading brands of the second half of 2016 to the eighth and ninth places of the list.

Over the surveyed period, in 2,173 instances, there was a connection between the brand featured in the product placement and the company supporting the program in question. Thus in 11.8 percent of the cases, the various commercial messages boosted each other’s impact.

The full study is available on the NMHH website.