Media Council: tender for Budapest 92.9 MHz frequency unsuccessful

Published: 11 March 2021

The tender procedure for the Budapest 92.9 MHz radio frequency was closed by the Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority without a winner after the bid of Klubrádió Zrt., the sole bidder remaining in the procedure, was also deemed invalid. The bidder may lodge an appeal against the decision within fifteen days. At its meeting this week, the body also decided to publish again the call for tenders to sponsor the programme-making of local and regional radio stations this year, this time with a budget of HUF 360 million; therefore, applications with radio and audio plays can now be submitted again after two years. After successful frequency planning and contract conclusion, Lánczos Kornél Secondary School can continue to operate its small-community radio station in Székesfehérvár.

The tender for the Budapest 92.9 MHz frequency is unsuccessful

The Media Council assessed the bid of Klubrádió and established that it did not comply with the tender requirements in several respects.

In accordance with the call for tenders, the economic suitability of the bidder had to be assessed. It can be established based on the examination of the public company data that an involuntary de-registration procedure can be initiated against Klubrádió at any time due to its unlawful financial management lasting several years. According to the fundamental and general principles of the domestic and European tendering practice for media services, a company in an uncertain and unlawful economic situation is not suitable for operating a radio frequency of limited availability.

The Media Council also established that the tender contains material errors in terms of the programme package. The submitted programme package did not comply with the essential requirements of radio broadcasting, as it contained contradictions which are objective errors, not subject to consideration, based on the court decisions adopted so far; therefore, they are not acceptable in case of any tender. Based on the consistent domestic judicial practice, the provisions of the Media Act and the mandatory principles of equal treatment the Media Council cannot refrain from establishing the errors made in the application.

In the light of the foregoing, the Media Council was not satisfied that the frequency issued for community purposes would be used lawfully and efficiently, so it established the invalidity of the bid and the unsuccessfulness of the tender procedure. Klubrádió may lodge an appeal against the decision within fifteen days.

Local and regional radio stations can apply again for funding for programme production

The Media Council publishes this year as well its call for tender addressed to local and regional radio stations for the production of news programmes, public-service and thematic magazine programmes serving the public interest, which can be applied for by operators in Hungary and beyond the borders. Those having a media service licence will have the opportunity to replace their continuing thematic programmes aired at the same time each week with radio and audio plays; thus, this is the first time that such creations can again receive funding since the termination of the Media Patronage Programme in 2019. The call for tender with a budget of HUF 360 million can be applied for four times, and the budget has been increased by HUF 60 million compared to 2020. The deadline for application for the first round is 1 April. The maximum funding that can be requested is ten thousand forints per broadcast programme in case of news programmes and fifty thousand forints in case of the other two types of programmes; a part of the funding awarded for the production of a thematic magazine can be spent on radio and audio plays.

Twenty-four television programmes are sponsored by the Media Council

The Media Council announced winners in its funding scheme for local and regional television stations in the fourth round of the call for tender to support the production of news programmes, public affairs and cultural magazine programmes. Twenty-four applicants are given a total funding of HUF 127.35 million. TiszapART Televízió of Szeged, Csele TV of Mohács, Globo Televízió available in the municipalities specified by Magyar Telekom, Városi Televízió of Putnok, KisDuna TV of Dunaharaszti, Trió TV Dunántúl of Sárvár and XV-TV of Budapest can spend the awarded funds on the production of public affairs magazines. News programmes can be produced by Pannon Televízió of Baranya, TV Szentendre, Győr+ Televízió, Zalaegerszegi Televízió, Szolnok Tv, Szomogy TV, Tatai Televízió, Bajai Televízió and Fehérvár Televízió. Cultural magazine programmes can be produced by Veszprém TV, Miskolc Televízió, Városi Televízió of Mezőtúr, Tolnatáj Televízió, Television Broadcasting of Szombathely, Városi Televízió of Ózd, Körös Televízió of Csabacsűd and Városi Televízió of Makó.

The body accepted the draft calls for rural radio broadcasting tenders

The body decided that the winner of the call for tender for the theoretical use of the small-community radio frequency based in Székesfehérvár is Lánczos Kornél Secondary School, the sole applicant, which is already broadcasting radio programme on the site. At this week’s meeting, the body declared that the radio broadcasting procedure for the commercial use of the Pápa 95.7 MHz local frequency was unsuccessful, as the bid of the sole bidder was substantively invalid due to contradictions in the programme package. The council accepted and publishes on its website on Friday the draft calls for tender for the community use of the Szentes 104.3 MHz, Keszthely 92.2 MHz and Mosonmagyaróvár 90.9 MHz local frequencies, as well as the draft call for tender for the small-community use of the Berettyóújfalu site.

The Czech partner authority imposed a fine as a result of the NMHH’s intervention

RRTV, the Czech partner authority imposed a fine of 500 thousand Czech koruna, i.e., approximately HUF 7 million, on the service provider of Film Mánia, subject to its jurisdiction and broadcasting in Hungary, due to incorrect age-rating based on the complaint forwarded by the Media Council. The RRTV established that the channel violated the Czech laws relating to the protection of minors, as the film The Prey containing violent scenes – broadcast in June last year – threatened the intellectual development of children and was capable of causing agitation, fear and permanent anxiety in them.