HUF 800 million for the production of radio and television programmes

Published: 5 March 2020

At its latest session, the Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) decided on an allocation amounting to HUF 800 million within the framework of application for grants supporting local and regional radio and television programme production. The board has fined the service providers of RTL Klub and Balaton Televízió for violating the regulations on surreptitious advertising and sponsorship. The Media Council also accepted a newly-prepared study, which shows that over the past one year, there has been a nearly one-tenth increase in product placement on national commercial television channels.

New production grant applications for local and regional radio and television stations

The Media Council is again announcing its call for applications for the production of regular news, public service and thematic infotainment programmes for local or regional radio stations with applications accepted from operators from both within and beyond the borders of Hungary. Bids for this tender with a total allocation of HUF 300 million may be submitted on four occasions in 2020; 2 April is the application deadline for the first round. The maximum available amount of funding per programme is HUF 9 thousand for news programmes and HUF 45 thousand per programme for the other two types of programmes. The board has also announced its tender for the production of regular television news, public and cultural infotainment programmes for local and regional television stations. In 2020, applications are accepted in four separate rounds with a total allocation of HUF 500 million; 16 April is the application deadline for the first round. The maximum funding to be won per programme is again HUF 60 thousand for public infotainment programmes and HUF 40 thousand in the case of news and cultural infotainment programmes, which still cannot exceed two-thirds of the total estimated costs.

Media supervisory decisions

The Authority imposed a fine of HUF 500 thousand on the media service provider of RTL Klub, as last October one of the broadcasts of the sponsored programme Reggeli presented the product of a Hungarian company dealing with dietary nutrition in an excessively detailed form, encouraging viewers to buy the product. The Council issued a warning to the service provider of Balaton Televízió for surreptitious advertising and imposed a fine of HUF 55 thousand for violating the regulations on sponsorship as last October, one of the broadcasts of the sponsored programme Egy csepp az egészségért featured information on a sponsor health institution that qualified as advertising, presenting the services of the institution in such detail that it encouraged viewers to use its services. When imposing a fine, the Media Council always determines the form and extent of the sanctions with due consideration to all the circumstances of the specific case and employing the principle of progressiveness and proportionality.

Following a citizen’s complaint, the Council shall commence an investigation against the service operator of Magyar ATV for certain comments made in the 23 January broadcast of the public infotainment programme A nap híre, in which one of the participants called “white, Christian heterosexuals” as terrifying creatures.

Decisions concerning radio tenders

The Media Council announced Karc FM Média Kft., the sole bidder, as the winner of the tender for the community use of the Miskolc 103.8 MHz regional frequency. The operator will broadcast the programmes of its entitlements in Budapest, Székesfehérvár, Tatabánya, Dunaújváros, Balatonfüred and Győr connected into a network, under the name of Karc FM 102.8.

The Media Council approved the draft call for tender for the community use of local frequency Cece 91.6 MHz and finalised the call for tender for the commercial use of local frequency Sátoraljaújhely 104.9. The Media Council will publish the documents on its website on Friday, while bids for the Sátoraljaújhely call for tender can be submitted on 8 April.

The board has declared the tender procedure for the Székesfehérvár 99.2 MHz local commercial radio frequency to be unsuccessful, as the bid submitted by the sole applicant was formally invalid.

Most product placements advertise holiday resorts, soft drinks and foodstuffs

The Media Council accepted the most recent study on the product placements in self-produced shows of national commercial televisions broadcasted in the second half of 2019. Over the six-month period, a total of 20,412 product placements were aired on RTL Klub and TV2, which exceeded the figures registered for the same period of 2018 by 9.5 percent (18,638). Such advertisements were featured in the highest number in RTL Klub’s programme Reggeli (4000), followed by Fókusz (1650) and Az év hotele (1310). TV2’s programme featuring the most product placements, Bezár a bazár! (825), is on the sixth place of the list. The programmes promoted a total of 2685 brands, with Norbi Update and Norbi Update Low Carb featured the most frequently, on 804 occasions, solely on RTL Klub’s programme Reggeli. Decathlon was the top advertiser on TV2 with 161 appearances, which, however, failed to make the top 10 in the accumulated list.

Among the various fields of the economy, the services sector utilized the most product placements, followed by the food and commercial sectors. The top advertisers in the services sector included hotels, guest houses and holiday resorts, while the food sector was dominated by carbonated soft drinks and the commercial sector by food trade. The study can be read in its entirety on the NMHH website.

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.