Media service providers will be eligible for HUF 1.44 billion through a range of grants next year

Published: 12 November 2020

Local, regional and community media service providers will be eligible for grants amounting to HUF 1.44 billion in 2021, based on the decision made at the weekly session of the Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH). Moreover, the Council awarded a total of HUF 90 million to 31 tenders through its patronage programmes for radio programme production and technical developments. The Media Council imposed a fine of HUF 1.9 million on the service provider of Rádió 1 for incorrect age ratings and will publish the draft of the frequency tender for the Budapest 89.5 MHz radio frequency.

Media service providers will be eligible for a total of HUF 1.44 billion in 2021

At its weekly session, the Media Council approved the tender goals, categories and the schedule of subsidies for next year’s patronage programme. The 2021 plan with an allocation of HUF 1.44 billion involves four tendering procedures and will include support for the operating costs and technical development of community media service providers, as well as funding for the production of the permanent programmes of local and regional media service providers. Total funding for the four tender rounds aimed at subsidizing maintenance and operational costs will be HUF 440 million, which exceeds this year’s allocation of HUF 400 million. A total of HUF 120 million will be allocated over three tender rounds for technical developments. The Media Council will provide HUF 360 million for the production of news and infotainment programmes of local and regional radio stations and HUF 520 million for television programmes. Both funding categories will have four tender rounds. The allocation of the latter three procedures will exceed this year’s allocations by HUF 10, 60 and 20 million, respectively. The first round of tenders for subsidizing the maintenance and operating costs of community service providers will take place in November, while the tenders for technical developments is scheduled for July 2021. Tenders can be submitted for radio and television programme grants next March at the earliest.

Nearly HUF 90 million in grants for radio programme production and technical developments

The Council announced the winners in the third round of the tender for the production of news, thematic and public service infotainment programmes of local and regional radios: twenty-six tenders will be awarded grants amounting to HUF 75.5 million. Európa Rádió of Sátoraljaújhely, Táska Rádió of Székesfehérvár, Aktív Rádió of Szolnok, the entitlements of Rádió 1 in Sopron, Gyöngyös, Szeged, Kiskunmajsa, Zalaegerszeg and Keszthely, KORONAfm100 of Dunapataj, Tamási Rádió, 98.4 Mega Rádió of Békéscsaba, Friss FM of Kisvárda as well as Manna FM, Magyar Katolikus Rádió and 103.9 Best FM of Budapest received grants to produce news programmes. In the category of public service infotainment programmes, Lakihegy Rádió of Szigetszentmiklós, Alpha Rádió of Székesfehérvár, Csillagpont Rádió of Miskolc, Gong Rádió of Kecskemét, Klasszik Rádió 92.1 of Budapest, Rádió 1 of Pécs, Rádió 7 of Hódmezővásárhely and Méz Rádió of Veszprém submitted successful tenders. Rádió Smile of Kiskunfélegyháza and 90.9 Jazzy Rádió of Budapest may use the grants to produce thematic infotainment programmes.

In the second round of this year’s technical tender for community media service providers, winners will receive grants amounting to HUF 13.68 million to purchase studio, sound and lighting equipment, broadcasting signal transmission devices and IT equipment required for providing media services. Televisions receiving grants include RTV Szekszárd, Füred TV and Régió Plusz Televízió of Gödöllő, while community radios Manna FM of Budapest and Csillagpont Rádió of Miskolc can improve their technical infrastructure.

Radio decisions

The Media Council has approved and published on its website for review the draft tender announcement for the commercial use of the Pápa 95.7 MHz local and Budapest 89.5 MHz regional frequencies: the draft tender for the frequency in Pápa will be available today, while the announcement for the frequency in Budapest will be uploaded to the NMHH website on Friday. Music FM previously broadcasted on the Budapest frequency.

The Media Council has carried out the formal examination of the single bid submitted for the community use of the Kaposvár 93.1 MHz frequency with a local coverage area and registered the bid submitted by Mária Rádió Frekvencia Kft.

The board imposed a fine of HUF 1.9 million on the service provider of Rádió 1 for airing broadcasts of the programme Balázsék in April and July with the age rating “not recommended for persons under 12” instead of 16 despite featuring segments discussing sexuality in a direct way and aired the programmes from 6:00 a.m. instead of the time slot between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.

Karc FM aired less Hungarian music, programmes appropriate to its special characteristics as well as programmes dealing with local public life and assisting everyday life and more reruns than stipulated in its contractual commitments during a reviewed programming week in August, therefore the Media Council called on the radio’s service provider to observe the requirements for lawful behaviour.

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 principles of progressiveness and proportionality.

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.