The NMHH Media Council’s radio drama tender accepts applications until the end of November

Published: 31 October 2018

This year, the Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) has announced again the Miklós Cserés tender providing non-refundable funding for the production of radio dramas and radio drama series. Among the most recent media supervisory decisions, the body imposed a HUF 1.25 million fine on TV2 for incorrect age rating. The Council has accepted a recent study on product placement of commercial television networks, which indicates an almost one-quarter drop in product placements in the first half of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017.

Decisions made within the context of the Media Patronage Programme

The panel announced this year’s Miklós Cserés tender within the context of the Hungarian Media Patronage Programme with a total funding of HUF 50 million. Funding is available for radio adaptations of Hungarian literary works or those specifically written for the radio, as well as for children’s radio dramas and radio drama series. The deadline for submitting synopses is 29 November. Similarly to previous years, the Council again welcomes submissions from cross-border applicants, and for the first time this year, radio stations with a minimum coverage of one hundred thousand listeners will be able to apply under the conditions specified in the announcement.

Under the Media Patronage Programme, the Media Council has awarded HUF 40.5 million funding to thirteen television and radio stations in the second round of this year’s tender for the technical development of community and small community media service providers. The nine winning television stations are Tótvázsony TV, Városi TV Mohács, Csurgói Városi Televízió, Hajdúnánási Televízió, Centrum TV and Bonum TV of Budapest, Irány TV headquartered at Ládbesenyő, Danubia Televízió of Tahitótfalu, and Régió Plusz Televízió of Gödöllő. Four radio operators were awarded: Radio Credo of Szombathely, Balaton Rádió of Siófok, Mária Rádió of Veszprém and Csillagpont Rádió in Miskolc.

Under the Károly Escher tender for grants to support the immediate on-site filming of ad hoc events, The Council provided a grant of HUF 1.5 million for shooting the documentary A félelem nélküli ember (The Fearless Man). The central figure of the film is Tibor Baránszky, who rescued almost three thousand Jews as a young priest during the reign of the Arrow Cross party in 1944.

Media supervisory fines

In conclusion of a proceeding launched in response to a citizen report, the Media Council imposed a fine of HUF 1,250,000 on the operator of the TV2 television network for the using an incorrect rating (not recommended for persons under 12 years of age instead of 16) and the 7 p.m. airing time incorrect even for the age 16 category when broadcasting the uncut version of the film Spectre on 18 August. Violence was the decisive factor in the film, and in one scene the intensity of its representation exceeded the acceptable level in a category not recommended for persons under 12 years of age, so it should be classified as not recommended for persons under 16 and should be broadcast only after nine o'clock.

The investigation of a week’s programme in July, Media Council found deviations from the programme schedules in the radio broadcasts of the Komló, Pécs, Dunaújváros, Debrecen and Békéscsaba stations of the Rádió 1 network. For most radio stations, the operator broadcast less Hungarian music, local and public service announcements than specified in its contract, and in some cases, because too many replays or breaks, too little own transmission time was broadcast. The Media Council also concluded that the media service provider of the Debrecen radio station missed fourteen times the acoustic warning prior to commercial breaks during the period under investigation and therefore called on the media service provider to refrain from any such violations in the future. The board ordered the operator of the Debrecen radio to pay a HUF 50,000 fine, and the operators of the listed radio stations to pay a fine of HUF 40,000 each, while the shared operator for the Komló and Pécs stations were ordered to pay a HUF 80,000 fine.

Mustár Rádió in the Nyíregyháza coverage area aired fewer texts, local and public service broadcasts and more replays compared to those in its public contract, so the Media Council imposed a HUF 20,000 fine.

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.

Radio tenders

The Council announced Mamó Rádió Kft., the only bidder submitting a bid in compliance with its legislative and tender requirements, as the winner for the Kaposvár 99.9 MHz local radio tender. The operator will broadcast on a commercial basis and networked with Budapest 96.4 MHz.

The Media Council finalized and published on its website its calls for tender for the commercial use of the local radio frequencies of Baja 88.7 MHz and Solt 94.1 MHz, as media service provision rights will, after 12 years, expire in February 2019.

In the South Budapest 90.9 MHz regional community radio tender, the Media Council, after reviewing the format of the bid, called upon the bidder Magyar Jazz Rádió Kft. to submit missing documents.

At the joint request of the operators, the Media Council terminated the networking between VLNC FM Radio Kft. using the Székesfehérvár 101.8 MHz frequency and Radio Plus Kft. using the Budapest 96.4 MHz frequency, and, at their request, authorized the Székesfehérvár licence to operate with a 24-hour programme schedule as 101.8 BEST FM. In addition, the Board authorized, also at the joint request of the operators, the networking of Fehérvár Rádió Kft., broadcasting at Székesfehérvár 94.5 MHz with the media service provision rights of Radio Plus Kft. at Budapest 96.4 MHz, and that Rádió 94.5 continue its operation under the name Rádió 1.

Magazines are the most popular carriers of product placements

The Media Council adopted a study on the product placement of national commercial television shows broadcast in the first half of 2018. The survey focused on the self-produced productions of RTL Klub and TV2. During the six-month period, a total of 15,471 product placements were identified, almost a quarter less than in the same period of 2017 (19,162). The trend can be explained, on the one hand, by the fact that 22 per cent of the programmes in the study did not contain product placement at all, and, on the other hand, there were a lot of entertainment shows that did not use this particular advertising method.

Most of this type of commercials were aired in TV2’s Bezár a Bazár! programme (1,414), followed by RTL Klub’s Reggeli (1,197) and Fókusz (1,126). Magazine programmes take the lead in a genre-based comparison: they advertised 10,343 products, which accounts for 66.8 per cent of all this type of broadcasting. Within this category, service magazines were the most successful in terms of advertising, with 4,009 product placements. During the period under review, a total of 2,571 brands were identified (RTL Klub: 1,610, TV2: 1,296). In the first six months of the year Spar/Interspar (527 cases) was the most frequent advertiser overall, and this brand tops the list at RTL Klub (522 cases) as well. At TV2, Neckermann (275 cases) was the leading advertiser of the period, and the brand ranked second in the cumulative list (299 cases).

While in previous years operators almost overused the captions calling viewers’ attention to product placements, currently this method is less typical with service providers being increasingly consistent in displaying the call only if followed by actual product placements. The study can be read in its entirety on the NMHH website.