Due to the repeated infringement by the operator of Klubrádió and pursuant to the relevant provisions of the Media Act, the Media Council did not extend the media service provision rights expiring on 14 February 2021 for the Budapest 92.9 MHz regional frequency. During its seven years of operation when broadcasting on this frequency, Klubrádió has repeatedly violated the provisions of the Media Act, as a result of which the Media Council applied various legal consequences. The decisions affected by the repeated infringement were noted by Klubrádió, they did not seek any legal remedy in court, and paid the fines. Pursuant to the relevant provision of the Media Act, one of the reasons for precluding the renewal of the media service provision rights is when the media service provider repeatedly or seriously violates the provisions of the Media Act during its operation.
In order to ensure the continuous operation of the 92.9 MHz frequency in Budapest, the Media Council has started preparing the tender procedure for the utilization of the frequency. Despite their repeated violation of the law, the operator of Klubrádió as the current entitled party will have the opportunity to submit a bid during the tendering process. According to the intentions of the Media Council, a community radio service should continuously operate on the 92.9 MHz frequency of Budapest.
The board has approved the draft of call for the frequency tender for the community use of the Győr 96.4 MHz regional radio frequency and granted the request submitted by Karc FM Kft. to begin community broadcasting on the Sopron 98.4 MHz frequency with a delay of two months, at the latest on 8 December.
Media supervisory decisions
The board imposed a HUF 50,000 fine on the operator of TV4 for broadcasting on 20 June the film Miss Marple történetei: Egy marék rozs (Miss Marple Mysteries: A Pocketful of Rye), despite the scenes depicting sexuality in a direct way, with the age rating “not recommended for persons under 12” instead of 16, and aired the programme from 1 pm instead of the time slot between 9 pm and 5 am.
In the second quarter of the year, the operator of Hír TV broadcast a total of thirty-one advertisements or previews that were too loud, so the Media Council only called on the station to comply with the relevant provisions of the law in view of the violation being committed for the first time. For the purpose of protecting viewers, the Media Act explicitly states that the volume of commercials, teleshopping programmes, programme previews and notices thereof may not be higher than the volume of programmes preceding and following them.
When imposing legal consequences, the Media Council always determines the form and extent of those with due consideration to all the circumstances of the specific case and employing the principle of progressiveness and proportionality.
Construction companies are the most active sponsors of television programmes
According to the latest NMHH study on television sponsorship practices adopted by the board, a total of 64,670 sponsorship messages appeared on the television channels in the study in the first half of 2020, and the number of sponsoring companies reached 927. Television stations with the widest population coverage aired a total of 56,958 spots, of which TV2 ran the most (34,407), followed by RTL Klub (16,096) and Duna TV (6,455). The most active sponsor was Austrotherm Kft. (2,061 spots), followed by Stavmat Építőanyag Kereskedelmi Kft. (1,937 spots) and Leier Hungaria Kft. (1,676 spots). Most sponsorship messages were broadcast in TV2’s weather report (16,449), followed by Duna TV’s Család-barát programme (3,618) and Hír TV’s weather report (3,293).
The national commercial television channels with the widest population coverage (RTL Klub, TV2) along with the public service station Duna TV were always included in the sample, while Duna World, M2, ATV, Hír TV, Life TV and Story4 were featured in the sample for one month each.
The study can soon 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.