The Budapest 92.9 MHz frequency will soon be available for tender applications

Published: 5 November 2020

At this week’s session, the Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) finalised the calls for tender for the Budapest 92.9 MHz radio frequency with a regional coverage area. According to a study approved by the Authority, the coronavirus still has a tangible impact as there were four thousand fewer advertisements aired in the first six months of 2020 compared to the same period of the previous year. Additionally, the board examined multiple television programmes based on complaints.

The Media Council has finalised and published on its website the call for tender for the community use of the Budapest 92.9 MHz frequency with a regional coverage area. Bids may be submitted on 14 December. The media service provider of Klubrádió is currently broadcasting under the entitlement that will expire in February of next year.

Most product placements advertise holiday resorts, restaurants and pubs

The board has approved the study on product placements in self-produced programmes of national commercial televisions broadcasted in the first half of 2020. Over a six-month period, a total of 13,151 product placements were aired on RTL Klub and TV2, an amount that is 26 percent lower than in the same period of 2019 (17,796). The main reason for this is the change in the programming structure due to the coronavirus pandemic: the filming of self-produced programmes has become difficult and the market and advertising environment has undergone radical changes, which has impeded televised product placements. The most advertisements were tied to RTL Klub’s Reggeli programme (3,189), followed by Fókusz (1,630) and TV2’s programme Mokka (594). A total of 1,928 brands were advertised in the product placements; the ALDI chain of stores was featured the most frequently, in 437 spots and this brand was also in the lead on RTL Klub. The Mozi+ television channel was the top advertiser on TV2 with 139 appearances. Among the various economic sectors, services appeared the most often, followed by the food and transport sectors. The top advertisers in the services sector featured miscellaneous services such as zoos, arboretums and various holiday resorts, while the food sector was dominated by restaurants and pubs and the transport sector by passenger cars.

This year, the Authority also examined virtual advertisements, which are one of the most noticeable, yet also most disturbing forms of product placement. 466 such virtual advertisements were aired in the first six months: 11 on RTL Klub and 455 on TV2. While in the case of RTL Klub these were aired in the programmes Reggeli and Fókusz, over half of those aired by TV2 were connected to competitions. 42.7 percent of virtual advertisements were tied to the mass media sector and mainly promoted sister channels, 27.7 focused on the commercial sector. In such advertisements, the visual space carrying these experiences shrinks and a new stimulus appears on the screen, automatically attracting the attention of viewers. In this case, the product isn’t integrated into the programme, but rather appears on the screen subsequently, often independently of the content. Despite its more limited use and innovative nature, this type of appearance can have a memorable effect, yet it has a clearly negative reception. The study will be available in its entirety on the NMHH website.

Investigation of complaints

The Media Council examined two complaints. One of the complainants objected to the severely offensive and degrading remarks of one of the participants of a discussion on members of the LGBTQI community aired on the 22 August broadcast of Hír TV’s programme Civil kör. The board established that no circumstances emerged that justified initiation of an administrative procedure as although the participants of the programme made negative comments, these cannot be considered extreme remarks that questioned the humanity or infringed on the dignity of the individuals in question. Multiple decisions of the Constitutional Court have stated that remarks of such nature are part of democratic publicity, regardless of whether or not some disagree with these remarks. The incitement of hatred and exclusion cannot be established in relation to the programme as it featured no aggressive or offensive attitudes. Nevertheless, the Media Council stresses its repeatedly stated standpoint that it is particularly harmful that the tone of debates in such programmes has escalated and participants use extreme, offensive expressions, which are not infringing in nature, yet explicitly hinder the cultured discussion of opposing views.

The Media Council also examined a September broadcast of the programme Álarcos énekes on RTL Klub, which according to the complainant, should have been aired with a higher age rating and at a later hour. The board established that during the performance of the song Pocsolyába léptem, which the complainant objected to, there were no direct sexual references and the ambiguity of the lyrics wasn’t discussed by the individuals appearing in the programme; furthermore, its imagery was focused on the atmosphere of country music and not the elements of the lyrics with an alternative interpretation. Therefore, viewers between 12 and 16 years of age could have only interpreted the programme according to its primary content, thus the higher age rating was not justified.

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.