Sanctions imposed by the Media Council for incorrect age-rating and violation of programme sponsorship regulations

Published: 16 October 2019

At this week’s meeting the Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) imposed a fine on the operator of RTL Klub for assigning a too low age-rating for the preview of an American action TV series and for the non-compliant sponsorship of a toy store. The Board declared the radio frequency tender of Körmend 99.8 MHz unsuccessful and, after the formal review, registered Magyar Katolikus Alapítvány, the single applicant in the frequency proceedings of the frequencies in Miskolc and Encs.

Media supervisory decisions

In a proceeding based on a citizen’s report, a fine of HUF 1.95 million was imposed by the Board on the operator of RTL Klub for screening an episode of the series Mr. Whiskey and its previews on multiple occasions in July with an inappropriate age-rating (age 12) and not in the appropriate time slot. The trailers could have been broadcasted with an age-rating of 16 between 9.00 p.m. and 5.00 a.m., as the portrayed violence (fights, shootings, death scenes) could influence the personality development of the relevant age group. The operator should have broadcasted the episode itself with the age-rating of 16 instead of 12. The Board imposed a fine of HUF 100,000 on the operator of RTL Klub for violation of a regulation in one of the May broadcasts of Kölyök Kalauz by promoting the products of a toy store sponsoring the programme and thereby encouraging viewers to purchase such products.

The Media Council imposed a fine of HUF 70,000 on the operator of the district community radio station InfoRádió for broadcasting less news and local public life programmes during a July programming week under review than the commitments registered in the Authority’s decision.

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.

Decisions concerning radio tenders

The Board declared the tender proceeding for the local commercial radio frequency Körmend 99.8 MHz unsuccessful as the single bid submitted by Rádió 8 Körmend Kft. was rejected on grounds of formal invalidity. In the proceedings on the community use of the district frequency Miskolc 95.1 MHz and the local frequency Encs 95.4 MHz, the Media Council registered Magyar Katolikus Alapítvány (Hungarian Catholic Foundation) as the single bidder in both tenders. In response to the application of the same operator, the Board authorized community broadcasting on the Kisújszállás 103.2 MHz frequency to start on 26 December instead of 27 October.

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.