New regional commercial radio station to launch in Pécs

Published: 25 July 2018

A new regional commercial station shall broadcast under the name 101.7 Gold Rádió on a frequency in Pécs currently not in use – as the Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) has decided. The board concluded that the practice of the operator of Lánchíd Rádió, according to which their programme is significantly different from the contractual programme schedule and their public service obligations, constitutes a serious infringement, and imposed a fine due to this. The Council warned thirty-five media service providers, and also imposed a fine in seventeen cases due to the late performance or the failure to perform the reporting obligations concerning the previous year.

Decisions concerning commercial radio tenders

The Media Council has announced P1 Rádió Kft., the only bidder that had submitted a bid that was valid both in terms of form and content, as the winner of the tender announced for the Pécs 101.7 MHz regional radio frequency. The operator intends to start broadcasting under the name 101.7 Gold Rádió – as a commercial radio, and has 4 months to do so after the conclusion of the relevant public contract. The radio shall broadcast mostly local news, public, cultural sports and magazine programmes, mixed with Hungarian and European retro hits.

The Media Council approved the draft of the invitation to tender for the Paks 96.3 MHz local commercial radio frequency. The document is available and open for comments on the Authority’s website from Friday 27 July. The board has also decided to conclude a temporary public contract for the frequency with the previous operator, Rádió 96.3 Kft. for a period of 30 days from 18 August 2018.

At its weekly session, the Council called on all three bidders – Regionális Rádió Kft., Egerszeg Média Kft., and LB Rádió Kft. as well – to remedy deficiencies as part of the formal examination of the three bids received for the invitation to tender for the Zalaegerszeg 88.9 MHz local radio frequency.

The board accepted the joint request of Fehérvár Rádió Kft. and Radio Plus Kft., according to which Fehérvár Rádió broadcasting as a commercial radio on the local radio frequency Székesfehérvár 94.5 MHz can use the name 94.5 Rádió 1 as of the date of the decision, and can be networked with Rádió 1 also broadcasting as a commercial radio on the Budapest 96.4 MHz regional radio frequency.

The Council has also granted the joint request of Mambó Rádió Kft. and Radio Plus Kft., according to which the daily own transmission time of 90.6 Rádió 1 broadcasting on the local commercial radio frequencies Pécs 90.6 MHz and Villány 100.9 MHz, and also networked with Rádió 1 shall be reduced to 4 hours and 40 minutes from 1 August, while maintaining the undertaken ratio of programmes. This change is not prevented by fair competition, considering that the bidders submitting the bids calculated with the requested modification to the former tenders of the frequencies involved in Pécs and Villány would remain the winners based on the assessment criteria. From 1 August, the daily own transmission time of the two radio stations will be identical to that of other radio stations networked with Rádió 1.

Media supervisory decisions

The board imposed a fine in a total of HUF 675,000 on the operator of the regional and local community radio stations Lánchíd Rádió (Budapest 100.3 MHz and its coverage area extensions), Lánchíd Rádió Pécs (Pécs 94.6 MHz and its coverage area extensions), and Lánchíd Rádió Száz pont Kettő (Szeged 100.2 MHz), as during a programming week in May under review, contrary to its commitments undertaken in its public contracts and its statutory obligation, it broadcasted solely music, which constitutes a serious infringement. It failed to broadcast any spoken content: news, programmes dealing with local public life and assisting local everyday life, public service and minority programmes.

In the absence of classifying media law conditions, the Media Council will not initiate proceedings on the basis of the report of Mérték Médiaelemző Műhely, in which the organization objects to the violation of statutory provisions prohibiting exclusion concerning the article published with the title “A spekuláns emberei” (The speculator’s men) in one of the April issues of the weekly newspaper Figyelő. Namely, in order for a media law infringement to exist, the persons listed in the article should constitute a community, moreover, a “protected community” in legal terms, which is tied together by a common feature – determining the personality – that shapes the community, and which can be identified by persons outside the community; however, mere enumeration is insufficient for this. The persons named can enforce their claims using individual means of privacy protection, in court, through civil proceedings.

Warnings and fines due to the late performance or the failure to perform annual reporting obligations

The Council reviewed whether the television and radio stations subject to a statutory or contractual obligation of annual reporting had submitted their reports for 2017. As a result of the administrative procedures initiated due to the late performance or the failure of performance, it has requested thirty-five operators to refrain from infringements in the future, and imposed fines amounting to a few tens of thousands of forints on seventeen operators. The amount of the highest fine was HUF 50,000. 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.