Television broadcasters ATV, TV2 and Hír TV have also decided on whether to provide free ad spots for political advertisements during the campaign for the April 8 general election. We reported yesterday that Hungary’s largest commercial television broadcaster, RTL Klub, had announced it would be taking part in the campaign.
- ATV chief executive Szilárd Németh (son of Faith Church founder Sándor Németh) has confirmed that his channel will take part in the campaign, adding that ATV will air political advertisements for free on television. He also said that paid ad space on ATV’s website would be made available for the campaign.
- Andy Vajna’s TV2 will not be taking part in the campaign — neither the television broadcaster nor its website. As is the case with Hungary’s state-run television channels, Hungary’s second-largest commercial television broadcaster faithfully toes the government line in its news coverage.
- Hír TV deputy CEO Péter Tarr says his channel will not air political advertisements during the campaign. (Hír TV is owned by oligarch-in-exile Lajos Simicska.)
According to 24.hu, media regulations adopted during the second Orbán government (2010-2014) stipulate that state media outlets M1, Duna TV and Kossuth Rádió must air the political advertisements of all opposition parties running a national list in the general election free of charge. Nationally-accessible commercial television stations are allowed to decide for themselves whether they wish to take part in the campaign in such a manner. Political ads cannot be aired on television in exchange for anything — they must be aired for free. Commercial broadcasters have until February 17 to decide whether they will take part in the campaign.