Decisions of the Media Council
The Media Council issued a HUF 50,000 fine to the service provider of Karc FM for failing to publish information on the age-rating before a November broadcast of the programme entitled Paláver. Due to the crude language, the programme should have been rated by the service provider as not recommended for people under the age of 12.
The council warned the service providers of Spirit FM and ATV Spirit that in a December broadcast of their programme Keljfel Jancsi, they provided promotional information about the underground car park that sponsored the show, which could have encouraged viewers to use it. This is illegal.
The Media Council will not initiate proceedings following a new report objecting to RTL newscast on the result of the “Family is Family” campaign because there was no violation of the rules on media governance. Based on previous reports of public service advertisements for rainbow families, the proceeding launched by the Media Council on 2 March is still in progress.
When imposing a legal consequence, the Media Council always assesses the type and level of legal consequence based on a gradual approach and the principle of proportionality by taking all the circumstances of each case into account.
Decisions about the radio frequencies
Following the formal review of the only bid submitted for the community use of the Budapest 95.3 MHz district frequency, the council registered Karc FM Média Kft. for the tender. In compliance with its legal obligation, the Media Council suspended the tender for the community use of the Budapest 98.0 MHz district frequency, as an administrative legal action was filed by Vibe FM Rádió Kft., whose tender registration was refused by the Media Council following the formal review. The obligation to suspend until a final court decision is stipulated by the Media Act.
The Media Council finalised the invitations to tender for the local frequencies of Békéscsaba 91.8 MHz and Eger 99.1 MHz for community use, and approved the drafts for Mór 89.0 MHz and Sopron 104.6 MHz frequencies. The documents will be available on the authority’s website from Friday.
Research on the press market, the new advertising spots and the accessibility to television programmes for hearing-impaired people
The Media Council also approved three studies at this week’s meeting, two of which are already available on the NMHH website and the third will be available in a few days. The study on the developments in the printed press market between 1994 and 2020 and on the distribution and online publication of newspapers in the second half of 2020 reveals, inter alia, that the average number of copies distributed fell by about 1,500 per half-year: while this number in 1994 was above one hundred thousand, by 2020 this was only around thirty thousand.
The meeting also approved the findings of the latest research on the new advertising spots on television, published in the second half of last year, in which the authority examined the programme offerings of seventy-eight television stations. 52.8 percent of all spots were new advertisements, 3113 of which were presented more than 3.9 million times. Within the new advertisements, the ratio of advertising spots promoting specifically Hungarian products and services has almost doubled: from 3.5% to 6.7%.
Finally, the council also adopted NMHH’s latest report analysing the second half of 2020 on how and to what extent the seven national public service and two major commercial television channels made their programmes accessible to viewers with a hearing impairment. The examination of more than 4,600 hours of programmes showed that almost 84% of the programmes were provided with hearing aid, which accounted for 99.9% of the transmission time required to be made accessible. In the case of public service television channels, 88.3% of the content was subtitled or translated by a sign language interpreter, while on commercial television channels this rate was 70%. Pandemic-related programmes featuring both hearing aids resulted in a higher proportion of programmes with sign language interpreters.
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.