New Wave Media Group, owner of news portal Origo.hu, has purchased the rights to operate internet assets owned by Hungary’s state media corporation MTVA, reports 24.hu.
New Wave Media will reportedly be responsible for representing and monetizing all MTVA websites, including hirado.hu, petofilive.hu, m4sport.hu, m5tv.hu, and mediaklikk.hu, in addition to managing mobile applications such as Híradó, M4 Sport, Médiaklikk, Médiaklikk Plusz, and MTV Boxutca.
MTVA’s video inventory will also be managed by the team at New Wave Media Group Sales.
According to Digitális Közönségmérési Tanács (DKT), an organization that assesses the size of audiences on Hungary’s digital media market, MTVA’s web assets drew an audience of around 1.5 million in March.
This isn’t the first time a state-run media company has sold its advertising platforms to private interests who, in turn, sell off the space to advertisers: a similar situation arose when Atmedia (a company owned by András Tombor) was awarded the rights to sell advertising on MTVA’s television assets without a tender.
Origo.hu was acquired by New Wave Media in late 2015, one year after much of Origo’s news staff walked out following the controversial resignation of Editor-In-Chief Gergő Sáling. It was revealed the next year that the media company was being propped up with funds made available to it from foundations newly created by Hungary’s National Bank.
When news broke of New Wave Media’s connection to the National Bank of Hungary, most of the staff writers at VS.hu (another website owned by New Wave Media) resigned. Both Origo and Vs.hu have since become symbols of political influence in journalism.