Media Council: comments may be made on the draft invitation to tenders for two city radio frequencies

Published: 10 October 2019

Radio and media supervisory decisions were made at this week’s meeting of the Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH). Following the formal review, the Board registered Magyar Katolikus Rádió Alapítvány as the only bidder in the procedures for local and a district frequency, and on Thursday it will publish a draft call for tenders for the use of two additional local frequencies. The Media Council imposed a fine on TV2’s operator for surreptitious advertising of a sports brand in the programme Tények, as well as on the operators of Szentes TV and Karc FM 88.3 for breaching their contractual obligations.

Decisions concerning radio tenders

Following the formal review of the bids submitted in the tender announced for the community use of the local frequency Eger 91.8 MHz and the regional frequency Hatvan 94.0 MHz, the Media Council registered Magyar Katolikus Rádió Alapítvány (Hungarian Catholic Foundation) as the single bidder in both tender procedures.

The Media Council will publish on its website on Thursday its draft call for tender for the commercial use of the local frequency Békés 94.4 MHz and for the community use of the local frequency Kaposvár 97.5 MHz. In the case of the public contracts of Civil Rádió operating on the Budapest 98.0 MHz district frequency and Vörösmarty Rádió operating on the Székesfehérvár 99.2 MHz local frequency, the Media Council, in view of the operators’ repeated infringements, in which case the Media Act excludes the option of renewal, did not renew the media service provision rights of the operators.

Media supervisory decisions

The Board imposed a fine of HUF 700,000 on TV2’s operator in a proceeding initiated upon a report, as in the 6 July broadcast of Tények, a commercial announcement related to a sports brand was aired in connection with a sports event embedded in the programme, which was suitable for misleading viewers as the programme did not identify it as an advertisement. Additional information about the brand was provided that may have encouraged viewers to buy the manufacturer’s products. For example, there was a constant presence of the brand, which visually and verbally promoted the products.

The Board imposed a fine of HUF 10,000 on the operator of the local community television station Szentes TV for broadcasting less public service, local public service and self-produced programmes during a June programming week than its contractual commitments. The operator of the local community Karc FM 88.3 radio station was also fined to the amount of HUF 10,000 for deviating from its transmission time during a July programming week, for not using its own signature tune in twenty-eight cases, and for broadcasting less local publicity, lifestyle and news programmes compared to its commitments.

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.

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.