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Broadcast org growls at watchdog

Dispatch - Hungary

BUDAPEST – Hungary’s Electronic Media Council, a union of commercial broadcast networks, has lambasted regulatory body the ORTT as too “political” and called for changes to taxation and licensing fees.

The council’s ire underscores the disenchantment of Hungary’s most powerful commercial networks with the state broadcast watchdog orgs.

In April, the ORTT penalized commercial networks RTL-controlled RTL Klub, SBS-controlled TV2 and regional net Budapest TV for violating the media law.

The penalties, levied for airing programs deemed to be steeped in violence and sex, included a two-hour suspension of broadcasting at RTL Klub, a half-hour suspension at TV2 and an hour suspension for Budapest TV.

RTL Klub will appeal the decision.

Representing top commercial TV broadcasters Danubius RTL Klub and TV2, pay service HBO and radio nets Juventus Radio and Slager Radio, the council called for a ban of commercial advertising on state media nets Magyar Televizio and funding reforms to replace frequency license fees with a tax on ad and subscription revenues.

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