Nearly HUF 125 million granted to local and regional television stations

Published: 13 March 2020

The Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) has decided to provide grants in the total value of HUF 124.5 million to local and regional television stations for the production of news, public infotainment and magazine programmes. A study approved by the Media Council has found that the number of sponsorship messages in the programmes of Duna TV has increased by more than 50%.

Twenty-six local and regional television stations to receive grants for programme production

At its session, the Media Council announced the winners of the fourth round of its tender for the production of news, public infotainment and cultural magazine programmes under its grant programme for local and regional television stations. Twenty-six television stations will receive a total of HUF 124.5 million worth of grants. The following stations will receive grants for their public infotainment programmes: Eleven Televízió of Bükkábrány, Pomáz TV, TiszapART Televízió of Szeged, Csele TV of Mohács, Csongrád Tv, Szentes Televízió, Putnoki Városi Televízió, Sárvári Televízió, and Trió-TV-Dunántúl of Sárvár. Grants will be provided for the news programmes of the following stations: Győr+ Televízió, Kalocsa Városi Televízió, Keszthelyi Televízió, Somogy TV, TV Szentendre, Fehérvár Televízió, Tatai Televízió and Ipoly Televízió of Balassagyarmat. The following stations will receive grants for the production of cultural magazine programmes: Miskolc Televízió, Kecskeméti Televízió, Nyíregyházi Televízió, Körös Televízió of Csabacsűd, Veszprém TV, Makói Városi Televízió, Mezőtúri Városi Televízió, Tolnatáj Televízió of Szekszárd, and Hegyvidék Televízió of Budapest.

The Media Council imposed a fine of HUF 30,000 on the operator of Alpha Rádió of Székesfehérvár for airing less spoken word content, public service broadcasting and programmes dealing with and assisting local public life than that stipulated in its contractual commitments during a reviewed programming week in January. 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 principles of progressiveness and proportionality.

On the basis of a citizens’ complaint, the Media Council inspected a segment of a late-night entertainment programme (featuring Sándor Badár) broadcast on Kossuth Rádió in January. The Media Council has established that the expressions used to describe an ethnic minority were suitable for offending individual sensibilities, however, they did not incite to hatred and were not exclusionary, and the comedian’s words did not call into question the equal human dignity of the members of any community, therefore, the legal regulations provide no basis for the Media Council to initiate proceedings in the case. On the basis of another citizens’ complaint, the board conducted an inquiry into an article—featuring videos as well—published in February on the website for violation of the regulations concerning the protection of minors. The Media Council has established that the video containing erotic elements and showing women in underwear did not feature any content that could have been highly detrimental to the development of the personality of minors (e.g. pornography), therefore, there was no reason for initiati8ng proceedings in this case either.

In both cases, the Media Council greatly emphasised that the two decisions did not mean that the board regarded the expressions used by the comedian or the content of the video published on the website concerned and its publication as acceptable. According to the board, both media contents are objectionable and represent undesirable trends in public speech and advertising contents, yet its decisions are governed by the relevant legislation, according to which the contents examined did not reach the level of an infringement.

The Media Council adopted and published on its website on 12 March the draft call for tender for the community use of the local frequency Székesfehérvár 99.2 MHz.

Most sponsorship messages came from companies in the construction industry

The Media Council adopted the latest NMHH study on the sponsorship practices of television stations, focusing on the second half of 2019. The national commercial television stations with the widest population coverage (RTL Klub, TV2) along with public service station Duna TV were constant elements of the sample, while Duna World, M4 Sport, Sport2, Super TV2, Viasat3 and Viasat6 were featured in the sample for one month each. A total of 84,451 sponsorship messages from 1,208 businesses were aired in the 17,664 hours of broadcasting time of the channels involved in the study.

In the case of Duna TV, Duna World and RTL Klub, sponsorship activity increased compared to the same period of 2018, when the total number of advertisements had been 82,024. The greatest change was registered by Duna TV (58%), where the number of spots increased from 6,398 to 10,125 from the second half of 2018 to the second half of 2019. The number of spots aired on RTL Klub also showed a slight increase (from 24,192 to 24,862), but sponsorship activity on the rest of the channels examined decreased. The most active sponsor was Austrotherm Kft. (2,506 spots), followed by Magyar Telekom (1,895 spots) and Baumit Kft. (1,758 spots). Similar to the same period of 2018, most sponsorship messages were aired in TV2’s weather report (14,851), followed by RTL Klub’s Reggeli (3,992) and the Család-barát magazine programme of Duna TV (2,622). The study will be available 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.