More than HUF 42 million of grants for the operation of community radio and television stations

Published: 28 May 2021

The Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) supports the running and operational costs of eight community radio and television stations based on its decision at this week’s meeting. The Council asked the authority to prepare the tender for the media service at Budapest 105.9 MHz and conducted the formal review of the tenders submitted for the rural community frequencies. The body imposed penalties for incorrect age-rating and the breaching of contractual commitments and warned one operator for surreptitious advertising.

In the third round of the tender for community media service providers, the Media Council has decided to provide grants of around HUF 41.95 million to eight applicants to support their running and operational costs. The following televisions submitted successful tenders: Pomáz Televízió, Völgyhíd TV in Biatorbágy, Zemplén TV in Salgótarján, Trió-TV-Dunántúl in Sárvár and EWTN Bonum in Budapest. The radio stations of Mustár Rádió in Nyíregyháza, Sola Rádió in Érd and Friss FM in Kisvárda will receive non-repayable grants.

The Media Council requested NMHH to develop the frequency plan of the media service at Budapest 105.9 MHz in preparation for the tender procedure. The Council conducted the formal review of the submitted tenders for the community use of local media services at Szentes 104.3 MHz, Keszthely 92.2 MHz, Békéscsaba 91.8 MHz and Eger 99.1 MHz and in the former two cases it called on the tenderers to provide missing information, while in the latter two cases it registered Karc FM Média Kft as the sole tenderer.

Based on a complaint the Council examined the service provider of Pesti TV and sanctioned it with a penalty of HUF 100 000 for rating a February episode of the Pesti galerie programme and its rebroadcast 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 8:00 in the evening. Although programme editors tried to mute the obscene expressions in the programme, they were still comprehensible and understandable which contradicts the rules prescribing the protection of minors.

The body imposed a sanction of ten thousand forints on the service provider of 90.6 Rádió 1 in Veszprém for broadcasting less Hungarian music then it assumed in its contractual commitments. The operator of Oxygen TV was warned by the council for surreptitious advertising for potentially encouraging viewers to buy the products of a confectionery by presenting its products in detail in an episode of Oxygen Media Gazdasági Magazin in March.

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.

The Council approved of the information document on the review of the audio narration to facilitate the media reception of the visually impaired, which reveals that all services subject to the accessibility obligation – RTL Klub, TV2 and Duna Televízió – have initiated the necessary procedures. Typically the current episodes of their own productions are provided with audio narration.

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.