Grants of nearly HUF 130 million for television programmes

Published: 16 September 2021

At its latest session, the Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) has decided to provide grants of nearly HUF 130 million for the production of news, public infotainment and cultural programmes to local and regional television stations. The body examined several programmes notified on the basis of the new classification rules, but it has not initiated proceedings against any of them. Among other things, the Council warned media service providers about too loud advertising, made decisions on several radio frequency tenders and adopted a report on the sponsorship practices of television stations.

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 second round of the call for tender to support the production of news programmes, public affairs and cultural magazine programmes. Twenty-four television tenders are given a total funding of HUF 129.5 million. Grants for the production of public infotainment magazines were awarded to Városi Televízió Bóly, Eleven Televízió of Bükkábrány, Gotthárd TV, Városi TV Mohács, Ladány Televízió and City TV of Budapest. The following have been awarded grants for the production of new programmes: 7.Tv, Sopron Televízió, Makó Városi TV, Mezőtúri Városi Televízió, Zemplén TV, Körös Televízió of Szarvas, Karcag Televízió, Körzeti Televízió Tata, Kölcsey Televízió of Nyíregyháza and Ózdi Televízió. Halom Televízió of Százhalombatta, Zalaegerszegi Televízió, Keszthelyi Televízió, Somogy TV, Zemplén TV of Sátoraljaújhely, Fehérvár Televízió, TV Budakalász and hatoscsatorna of Budapest can use the grant to produce cultural magazine programmes.

Decisions of the Media Council

The Board will not initiate proceedings against the educational programme entitled “A művészet templomai” (Temples of Art) broadcast on channel M5 in July after 9 p.m. with an “age 12 circle” because the paintings and the segment depicting them (including half-naked men) did not justify the age-rating “not recommended for persons under 18 years of age”. The Council will not initiate proceedings against the operator of M4 Sport for the sports coverage of the round of 16 football match between Wales and Denmark. On the one hand, sports programmes do not have to be rated, and on the other hand, the match was a live broadcast, so it was not possible to edit or choose the broadcast date, and even smaller children are able to identify the genre and the heightened state of mind associated with competition, and understand that all this led to the hugging of team members or fans. The body will not initiate proceedings based on reports against the operators of the internet portals and, either, as no pornography, violence or other elements harmful to the protected age group appeared in their articles dealing with the LGBTQ communities that would have required the articles be published using a technical or other solution or with an alert about the possible danger of minors to prevent the protected group from access them. 

A report was received in connection with public service advertisements encouraging viewers to complete the national consultation, but the Media Council found that no infringement had occurred as a result of the content of the announcements.

In the second quarter of the year, the operator of Hír TV broadcast a total of six advertisements or previews that were too loud, so the Media Council only called on the station to comply with the relevant provisions of the law. For the purpose of protecting viewers, the Media Act explicitly states that the volume of commercials, teleshopping programmes, programme previews and notices thereof may not be higher than the volume of programmes preceding and following them.

Due to the deviations from their contractual commitments, the board warned three radio stations: 90.5 Gyula Rádió broadcast less Hungarian music, Korona FM 100 aired less spoken text, public service programmes, programmes dealing with local life and supporting local daily life, while FM 95 - Rádió 1 Debrecen aired less Hungarian music, public service programmes, programmes dealing with local public life and supporting local daily life. The Media Council warned the operator of Szegedi Televízió because it broadcast an advertisement in April without a distinctive warning sign, which may have misled viewers.

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 radio frequency tenders

In its tender procedure for the community use of the Budapest 105.9 MHz regional media service, the board called on LBK Sport Kft. to remedy the deficiencies after formal review of the single submitted tender. The body has declared the tender procedure for the theoretical use of the small community radio media service on the Gyöngyös site to be unsuccessful, as the submitted tender by the sole tenderer was invalid.

The Council finalized the tender notices for the theoretical use of small community radio media service based in Berettyóújfalu, Mezőtúr, Szombathely, Székesfehérvár and Törökszentmiklós, as well as for the community use of the Kaposvár 97.5 MHz local frequency. The Media Council approved the draft tender notices for the commercial use of the Debrecen 104.6 MHz and Nyíregyháza 91.1 MHz regional media services. The documents will be available on the NMHH website.

Construction companies still the most active sponsors of television programmes

According to the latest NMHH study on television sponsorship practices adopted by the board, a total of 74,385 sponsorship messages appeared on the television channels in the study in the first half of 2021, and the number of sponsoring companies reached 1089. Television stations with the widest population coverage aired a total of 63,487 spots, of which TV2 ran the most (35,682), followed by RTL Klub (21,352) and Duna TV (6,453). The most active sponsor was Leier Hungária Kft. (1,689 spots), followed by Austrotherm Kft. (2,207 spots) and Stavmat Építőanyag Kereskedelmi Kft. (1,945 spots). Most of sponsorship appearances were edited into the weather forecast of TV2 (14,734) followed by the weather forecasts of RTL Klub (5,530) and Hír TV (4,022). The national commercial television channels with the widest population coverage (RTL Klub, TV2) along with the public service station Duna TV were always included in the sample, while Duna World, M2, M5, ATV, Hír TV and Life TV were featured in the sample for one month each. The study will be available in its entirety on the NMHH website in a few days.