Media Council support for the extension of eight Hungarian animation series and the production of a new independent film

Published: 16 November 2018

A grant of more than HUF 60 million has been earmarked by the Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) to produce an independent animated film and eight new episodes of existing and starting series. Additionally, the board awarded a total of HUF 75.3 million to twenty-eight local and regional radio stations to produce magazine and news programmes. The Media Council announced Center-Rádió Kft. as the winner of the local radio frequency tender for Nyíregyháza 103.9 MHz. The Media Council has decided to renew the licences of the operators of Rádió Szarvas and Mustár FM Rádió for a further five years. According to the NMHH research approved by the Media Council, the number of advertisements targeting children has dropped.

Macskássy Gyula Tender: more than HUF 60 million to produce nine animated films

The Media Council provided HUF 61.1 million worth of funds for the production of eight episodes of existing and starting animation series and one independent animated film in the second round of this year’s Macskássy Gyula Tender under the Hungarian Media Patronage Programme. Daniel Gray will be able to make the independent film Bújócska (Hide-and-Seek) about modern-day separation, presenting how we can use technology to see and hear our loved ones living far away, yet we cannot be with them physically. Thanks to the funding awarded to series, Ferenc Rófusz will take children to a time travel in France in Hoppi mesék (Hoppi Tales), while the mischievous puppy, Csupipupi will embark on new adventures with his flea friends in the series directed by Zoltán Lehotay. The kittens in Cipelő cicák (poCats) will grow a tree of socks on the playground (director: Csaba Bárdos), while the clumsy hero of Draco, a borzasztó (Draco the Terrible) — who is famous for his morbid sense of humour — will try to save his teachers and fellow students turned into ice (director: Bálint Kelen). Janó Manó és az elveszett harmatcseppek (Johnny the Wise Elf and the Lost Dewdrops) will also continue with a new episode, in which Johnny helps out the cursed Owl King (director: Zoltán Miklósy). The new episode of Szupermalac és Űrpatkány (Superpig and Spacerat), directed by Csaba Máli, will take children to the Mirror Planet, while Detti és Drót (Detti and Drót), directed by István Heim, will offer help to a herd of wild horses. A new series entitled FUNIverzum will uncover mysteries related to space exploration and physics; the director of the first episode is Árpád Hermán.

Immediate funding for film production to uncover the hidden treasures of the Danube

Zsolt Marcell Tóth received a grant of HUF 1.35 million through the Escher Károly Tender of the patronage programme for his popular science film A Duna rejtett kincsei (The Hidden Treasures of the Danube), to take unique shots of this year’s record low Danube, the uncovered archaeological finds and the river’s altered aquatic life and water movements. The director must commit to submitting a valid application, based on the raw footage, in the next round of the tender process for grants for the production of popular science films.

Twenty-eight local and regional radio shows received funding

In this year’s third round of the tender for the funding of public service and thematic magazine programmes and news programmes of local and regional radio stations, a total of HUF 75.3 million was awarded to support the production of twenty-eight regular programmes for one year. In the category of news programmes, grants were awarded to the operators of Lakihegy Rádió of Szigetszentmiklós, Európa Rádió of Sátoraljaújhely, Rádió 1 of Tiszafüred, Zalaegerszeg, Székesfehérvár and Szolnok, Tamási Rádió and Bajai Rádió, Táska Rádió of Lánczos Kornél Grammar School in Székesfehérvár, Csillagpont Rádió of Miskolc, Gong Rádió of Kecel, Rádió Dabas, Klasszik Rádió 92.1 of Budapest, KoronaFM100 of Kalocsa, Mária Rádió Savaria and Credo Rádió of Szombathely, and Best FM of Nyíregyháza. Funding for the production of public service magazine programmes has been provided to Sárvár Rádió, Rádió Szentendre, Rábaköz Rádió FM 94.5, FM7 Rádió Eger, Rádió 7 of Hódmezővásárhely, Aktív Rádió and Amadeus Rádió of Szolnok, Vörösmarty Rádió of Székesfehérvár, and Érd FM 101.3. Rádió 24 of Dunaújváros and Rádió 1 of Kiskunfélegyháza were awarded funding to produce thematic magazine programmes.

Ever fewer commercials targeting children

The Media Council approved the study on advertising spots broadcast on television channels in the first half of the year. The authority studied the programme offering of 35 television channels, with 2,551 types of new ads being rerun 1.3 million times, which is almost equivalent to the number recorded in the same period of 2017. Most new commercials were broadcast by general entertainment channels such as Viasat 3, Cool Tv or Comedy Central. Compared to the period from January to June 2017, considerably more new commercials were featured on the national commercial channels such as RTL Klub and TV2, which increased their share among all channel types from 20.6% last year to 32.4% this year.

40.8% of the commercials promoted products and 59.2% services. Compared to previous years, the growth in the share of products (2015: 36.2%, 2016: 41.4%, 2017: 42.9%) has come to a halt. More than half of the services advertised in the spots (57.6%) were related to the commercial sector. The already low percentage of spots targeting minors in previous years has declined: from 3.9% in the first half of 2017 to 2.4%. This may be related to the fact that M2 no longer broadcasts commercials. 97% of these types of commercials were shared between RTL Klub and Minimax, and 82% of them advertised toys. The study can be read in its entirety under Research on the NMHH website.

Radio decisions

In the local radio tender procedure of Nyíregyháza 103.9 MHz, Center-Rádió Kft. was the only bidder that complied with the legal and tender requirements; therefore, based on the decision of the Media Council, the company can broadcast programmes on the frequency as a commercial radio.

The Council renewed the licences of the operators of Rádió Szarvas and Mustár FM Rádió for a further five years, until the end of 2024, at the Szarvas 105.4 MHz and Nyíregyháza 89.6 MHz frequencies, respectively. The operator of Sláger FM has also applied for licence renewal for the Budapest 103.9 MHz frequency, but the channel has repeatedly and seriously violated the statutory provisions on the primary protection of children, which is why the contract cannot be renewed under the Media Act. Regarding the application of Music FM for the Budapest 89.5 MHz frequency, there were legal grounds for exclusion because on a number of occasions the operator severely violated the rules on the protection of children, failed to comply with its data provision obligation, and was in arrears with the media service provision fee at the time the application was submitted.

With an amendment to the public contract, the Media Council approved the request submitted by the operator of Cross FM to postpone the broadcasting starting date on the Budapest 98.6 MHz frequency by 60 days, until 6 February 2019 at the latest. The operator justified the request by claiming that the installation of the antenna required for broadcasting was being delayed due to reasons beyond their control.

During the formal examination, the board registered Magyar Jazz Rádió Kft. as the single bidder in the tender for the Budapest 90.9 MHz regional radio frequency.

On the basis of the investigation of a summer week’s programme, the Media Council found deviations from the programme schedules in the radio broadcasts of Rádió 1 in Sopron, Tiszafüred, Abádszalók, Derecske, Hajdúböszörmény and Hajdúszoboszló. For all radio stations, the operator broadcast less Hungarian music and local public news than specified in its contract, and some station broadcast insufficient own transmission time, news programmes or ethnic minority news. The Media Council imposed a fine of HUF 50 thousand on the operators of the Sopron radio as well as the Tiszafüred and Abádszalók radio stations (the last two are connected in a network), and a fine of HUF 150 thousand on the joint operator of the Derecske, Hajdúböszörmény and Hajdúszoboszló radio stations. 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.