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Hungary TV market red hot

BUDAPEST — The arrival of three commercial TV networks on the Hungarian dial has created a frantic demand for programming that is jacking up prices, fostering multimillion-dollar output deals and opening vistas of opportunity for U.S. sellers and European distributors in this once-moribund market.

Distributors and program producers, previously forced to panhandle in this market, are now profiting.

“Now there is a demand for a variety of things — U.S. programs, European titles, documentaries, everything,” said Cecilia Hazai, co-owner of the Budapest-based TV distributor Twin Media.

This insatiable demand for programming was triggered by the recent launches in Hungary of the national terrestrial networks TV2, majority owned by north European broadcaster Scandinavian Broadcasting System; RTL Klub, controlled by Luxembourg-based media investor CLT-Ufa; and the cable station TV3, majority owned by U.S.-controlled television investment company Central European Media Enterprises (CME).

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