Study surveying media market of two rural cities approved by the Media Council

Published: 4 February 2021

In Pécs and Kecskemét the coverage of local internet sites is fairly extensive at 74% – reveals the new research approved at the meeting of the Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) this week. The council carried out a formal review of several radio frequency bids and imposed a penalty on Rádió 1 for an inappropriate age-rating.

Radio tenders

The Media Council placed formal reviews of the bids submitted for the tenders of the Budapest 98.0 MHz and Budapest 89.5 Mhz frequencies on its agenda: it called upon the Generációk Hangja Alapítvány and Match Point Official Kft. to submit additional information for the first tender while invalidating the bid of Vibe FM Rádió Kft.; and it registered the sole bidder of Radio Plus Kft. in the second tender. The body requested information from Médiahíd Kft. during the content evaluation of bids submitted for the communal use of district frequency Nyíregyháza 106.8 MHz.

Media regulator decisions

The service provider of Rádió 1 was sanctioned with a penalty of HUF 1.45 million by the council for rating a November episode of the Balázsék programme as “Not recommended under the age of twelve” instead of “Not recommended under the age of sixteen”, and instead of between 9:00 pm and 5:00 am broadcast it from 6:00 in the morning, despite the implicit discussion of sexuality therein.

The regulator warned Balaton Televízió for broadcasting a commercial twice without the distinctive statutory advance warning sign last October, which is why the council called on the channel’s service provider to conform with its legally binding requirements of conduct.

When imposing a fine, the Media Council always assesses the type and level of legal consequence based on a graduated approach and the principle of proportionality by taking into account all the circumstances of each case.

Local media in Pécs and Kecskemét is mostly accessed for information on local events

The Council accepted a study about the media coverage of towns and cities around the country because local media is rarely in the focus of research attention. The research focuses on two county capitals with distinctive features: Pécs and Kecskemét. The survey was conducted by Psyma Hungary Piac- és Közvélemény-kutató Kft. through telephone calls questioning 400 people in each city last November. The document reveals that the viewing figures of local television channels has dropped significantly in both cities: daily access to national channels was 59% in Pécs, and 62% in Kecskemét, while daily access to local programmes was only 5% and 9% in the two cities respectively. At national level, a fall in television viewing figures is only evident with news programmes, so this is a media market phenomenon specific to the two cities. The significant decrease in reading media products, however, is a nationwide – and a global – trend: 58% and 55% of the people asked do not read either national or local newspapers. Internet sites face a similar situation with 74% access in both cities (adding up weekly and daily access data). This media market situation is not coupled with public activity, and the people surveyed follow national events more than local ones: 34% of people in Pécs are interested in local events, while 49% are mostly geared towards national events; these figures are 31% and 40% in Kecskemét respectively. Preference towards local media is generated by interest in local events in both cities. The whole document can be read on the NMHH website.

The full agenda of the weekly meetings of the Media Council is available on the council’s website together with the minutes of the sessions and all the resolutions – the latest documents are published after the necessary certification and administration processes.