Media Council: HUF 47 million utility bill subsidy for local, regional and community media service providers

Published: 20 June 2019

By its decision taken at its meeting this week the Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) contributes to the utility costs of eight community television and radio companies. The NMHH extended the media service provision rights of three members of the Radio-1 network by five years in four towns and imposed fines – due to wrong content rating – on the providers of TV2 and Life TV, as a result of their programs titled Bezár a bazár!, and Ha ciki, ha nem: beteg vagy!

Cost subsidies and renewal of local radio licenses

In the third round of the call for applications announced this year under the Hungarian Media Patronage Program for providing support to community media service providers to finance their overhead and operation costs, the Media Council awarded a total of HUF 47.4 million worth of funds to 9 applicants. Non-repayable grants are provided to Soltvadkerti TV, Magtelevízió of Újhartyán, Csurgói Városi Televízió, Centrum Televízió of Budapest, ESTV of the town of Vác, RTV Szekszárd, Pannon Televízió of Pécs and Tótvázsony TV. From among radio channels, Sola Rádió, covering the district of Óbuda, was awarded financial assistance.

Upon their request, the NMHH extended the media service provision rights of the local commercial members of the Rádió 1 network covering the areas of Salgótarján, Békéscsaba, Komló and Mohács by another five years, up to September 2024.

Fines for wrong content rating

In a proceedings instigated upon multiple reports by citizens the NMHH imposed a HUF 2.3 million fine on the operator of TV2 as it aired the trailers of its program Bezár a bazár! at the wrong time on 67 occasions in the months of March and April. The trailer conveyed a questionable form of behaviour by attempting to promote the quiz program by showing the show hosts running around with no clothes on. The funny nature of the preview did not balance the nudity presented, which was not in proportion to the age groups in need of protection.

The program provider of Life TV was fined in the amount of HUF 80 thousand for airing the previews of its program Ha ciki, ha nem: beteg vagy! during daytime hours on 8 occasions in March. The previews showed rare or extreme diseases and graphic scenes allusive to medical interventions that were suitable for causing angst and fear among members of the protected age group of under 16.

The previews should have been presented by both channels between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., with a 16 year rating.

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 and employs the principle of progressiveness and proportionality.

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