Media Council: nearly four-fifths of programme sponsors are loyal to stations

Published: 8 March 2019

The latest official investigation approved by the Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) reports that, in the second half of 2018, most of the sponsor messages were displayed in the programmes of TV2. This year again, the Media Council will announce the tender for the production of news and magazine programmes of local and regional radio stations with a total budget of HUF 300 million. The board imposed fines for the violation of the programme sponsorship rule and for unauthorised broadcast of a radio programme with the teletext service, and finalised two local radio tender announcements: one for Gyöngyös and one for Sátoraljaújhely.

Most advertisements of commercial television stations were displayed in the weather report

The Media Council approved the latest NMHH study on the sponsorship practices of television stations. The national commercial television channels with the widest population coverage (RTL Klub, TV2) along with the public service station Duna TV were always included in the sample used for reviewing the second half of 2018, while the public service channel Duna World and the commercial channels Sport1, Story4, TV4, Viasat3 and Viasat6 were included in the sample for one month each.

Over a half-year period, 111 hours and 40 minutes of sponsor messages from 1,173 companies were displayed on the nine television channels. A total of 82,024 sponsor messages were aired in the 17,664 hours of broadcasting time of the channels involved in the study, of which TV2 had the largest share with 46,590 messages, which is 1,540 more than the number of spots broadcast during the same period in 2017. The number of such messages also increased on Duna TV to 6,398, which is 701 more than in the previous half-year. RTL Klub, however, broadcast fewer sponsor messages, thus recording a drop from 26,870 to 24,192. Nearly four-fifths of the companies involved in programme sponsoring only advertised on one television station, however, there was also one that purchased sponsorship options on six channels. Fourteen companies advertised for a total of over one hour over a half-year period, with the most transmission time purchased by a telecommunications company (Magyar Telekom Nyrt. with 5 hours 41 minutes) and two construction companies (Baumit Kft. with 3 hours 9 minutes and Terrán Tetőcserépgyártó Kft. with 3 hours and 5 minutes). As far as economic sectors are concerned, the top three sectors included the construction industry, the services sector—mostly due to travel and hospitality advertisements—, and the food sector.


n this six-month period, the weather report continued to be the most sponsored programme type of national commercial television stations: this programme screened several times a day featured 15,822 sponsor messages on TV2 alone. Other top programmes with the highest number of sponsor messages included RTL Klub’s A konyhafőnök VIP (Chef VIP) with 2,429 spots and Duna TV’s Család-barát magazin (Family Magazine) with 1,533 sports. Of the sponsoring companies, 83 advertised in TV2’s Mokka (Mocha) and 81 in RTL Klub’s Édesítő (Sweeter Life) programme. The programmes with the highest number of sponsors on the public-service Duna TV were Időjárás-jelentés (Weather Report, 37 companies), Balatoni nyár (Summer at Lake Balaton, 37 companies) and Család-barát (Family Magazine, 31 companies).

The full study is available on the NMHH website.

HUF 300 million for local and regional radio programmes

Under the Hungarian Media Patronage Programme, the Media Council will announce its tender for the production of regular news, public service and thematic magazine programmes for local or regional radio stations for this year again. Bids for this tender with a total budget of HUF 300 million may be submitted on four occasions in 2019; the application deadline for the first round being 4 April. The maximum available amount of funding per programme is HUF 9 thousand for news programmes and HUF 45 thousand for the other two types of programmes.

Media supervisory decisions

The Media Council imposed a fine of HUF 50 thousand on the media service provider of RTL Klub, as last November one of the broadcasts of the sponsored programme High Life encouraged viewers, as an integral part of the broadcast content, to purchase the services of the spa sponsoring the programme. According to the Media Constitution, sponsored programmes may not encourage viewers to purchase or use any of the sponsor’s products or services.

The local television station Gólya TV with its registered office in Bercel, Nógrád County, broadcast the programme of Mária Rádió for the full duration of the television station’s teletext service on five December programme days covered by an NMHH investigation. As this qualifies as unauthorised networking, the Media Council has imposed a fine of HUF 50 thousand on the television station’s media service provider. The radio operator was unaware of the networking.

When imposing a fine, the Media Council always determines the form and extent of the fine with due consideration to all circumstances of the specific case, including all other violations in the same subject previously committed by the operator, along with the audience ratios of the endangered age group, and employs the principle of progressiveness and proportionality.

Following up on a citizen’s report, the Media Council decided not to initiate proceedings for the violation of human dignity by TV2’s Exatlon Hungary broadcast on 12 February, in which one of the participants verbally insulted another player. The Authority concluded that the players, despite a few offensive or threatening statements, did not raise their voice, and their quarrel was not blatant in view of the general tension of the contest. The presenter, the offended player himself and the other teammates properly offset the conflict.

Radio decisions

The Media Council finalised and published on its website the call for bids for the community use of the Gyöngyös 102.2 MHz and the Sátoraljaújhely 90.6 MHz local radio frequencies. Bids may be submitted on 8 April and 10 April, respectively. The Media Council also published for review the draft invitation to tender for the commercial use of the Sátoraljaújhely 104.9 MHz frequency.

As part of the content-based examination of the bids submitted under the tender procedures for the local community radio frequencies of Székesfehérvár 106.6 MHz and Tatabánya 107.0 MHz, the Media Council requested information from the sole bidder of both tenders, Karc FM Kft. In the Zalaegerszeg 88.3 MHz local community radio tender, the Media Council, after the examination of the formal validity of the bid, registered the single bidder Lánchíd Rádió Kft.

The full agenda of the Media Council’s weekly sessions can be found on the Board’s website, along with the minutes of the meetings and all decisions taken; the latest decisions will be published after the necessary validation and administration period.