NMHH Media Council fines for incorrect age-ratings

Published: 25 October 2019

At its weekly session, the Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) imposed fines for incorrect age-ratings assigned to a British romantic comedy and an episode of a Hungarian film series. The Hungarian Catholic Radio Foundation was the sole applicant and winner of four rural radio frequency tenders. The Board has extended the entitlements for the Tiszafüred and Abádszalók Radio 1 operators for five years.

Fines for incorrect age-ratings

The Board fined the operator of TV2 for a total of HUF 4.87 million. The procedure was initiated based on a citizen’s report that the movie Bridget Jones's Baby broadcast in July was improperly assigned a lower age-rating category (ages 12 and up), and it was aired at an inappropriate time of day on one occasion, while its preview trailers were shown at inappropriate times on multiple occasions. In a new procedure following judicial review, the Board fined the operator of RTL Klub for HUF 1.42 million, likewise for incorrect age-ratings of an episode of Éjjel-nappal Budapest broadcast in September 2015, as well as of its preview trailers. In accordance with the court’s decision, the Media Council opted to limit the scope of the previous relevant infringements when determining the extent of the fine to be imposed. Both the TV2 and the RTL Klub shows and their preview trailers should have been broadcast exclusively with an “Ages 16+” symbol, and only between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., as they included elements with sexual references that would negatively impact the psychosocial development of the affected age groups.

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

As per the Board’s decision, the winner of the tender for the community use of the Eger 91.8 MHz and Miskolc 95.1 MHz regional radio frequencies, as well as the Hatvan 94.0 MHz and Encs 95.4 MHz local radio frequencies, was the sole applicant, the Hungarian Catholic Radio Foundation, which will proceed to broadcast under the following designations: “Szent István Rádió – Gyöngyös”, “Szent István Rádió – Miskolc” and “Szent István Rádió – Sátoraljaújhely”.

The Council has approved the draft call for tender for the commercial use of the currently unused Körmend 99.8 MHz local radio frequency; the document was published on the Media Council’s website on Thursday.

At the operator’s request, the Board has extended the radio entitlements for the operator of the 88.7 MHz, 89.2 MHz Rádió 1 broadcasting on a commercial basis in the Tiszafüred 88.7 MHz and Abádszalók 89.2 MHz coverage areas—originally granted for seven years and expiring this year—for an additional five years, until 12 February 2025.

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.