Considering the loss in revenues caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Media Council honoured the requests submitted by the operators of Sláger FM of Budapest, Méz Rádió of Veszprém, Best FM broadcasting in Zalaegerszeg, Debrecen and Budapest, Amadeus Rádió of Szolnok, Rádió M of Miskolc and Rádió 1 of Budapest and their eight local networked operators with entitlements, and authorised payment of their media service provision fees of the third quarter in three monthly instalments.
At the service provider’s request, the Media Council has extended the radio entitlements of Mária Rádió Frekvencia Kft. broadcasting on the Cegléd 88.3 MHz local radio frequency, for an additional five years, until 8 November 2025, to continue to broadcast the community Mária Rádió Cegléd service.
The board has also completed the compliance review regarding the programme quotas of radio operators in 2019, and subsequently imposed fines in the range of a few ten thousand HUF on the operators of 101.7 Pécs FM, Pont Rádió of Mezőtúr, Spirit FM of Budapest and Mustár Rádió of Nyíregyháza for failing to meet their legal obligations.
The Media Council imposed a fine of HUF 520,000 on the operator of TV2 as in two February broadcasts of the programme Trendmánia they advertised the products of a travel agency and a shop selling kitchenware in edited content by urging viewers to purchase them, which qualifies as surreptitious advertising. Such broadcasting is only permitted by law in commercial breaks, and direct promotion of products is not allowed in any other programme segments, not even as part of a programme.
In the administrative proceedings instituted upon a listener’s complaint and taking into account child protection considerations, the Media Council imposed a fine of HUF 550 thousand on the operator of Rádió 1 concerning an April morning edition of the programme called Balázsék, which was broadcast in a time slot inappropriate for the programme’s category ‘not recommended below age 12’ and with an incorrect age-rating. In the programme the hosts talked and joked about sexually-loaded topics with explicit references; therefore, the programme could only have been aired between 9.00 p.m. and 5.00 a.m., labelled as ‘Ages 16+’.
When imposing a fine, the Media Council always determines the form and extent of the sanctions with due consideration of all circumstances of the specific case and employing the principles of progressiveness and proportionality.