September 23, 2013 23.07 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul, MediaPlatform Conference, Budapest
Hungary’s two leading commercial broadcasters RTL Klub and TV2 will have the right to charge cable operators for carrying their channels from November 1.
The prospect has caused concern in the cable industry, with János Tarr, the MD of Tarr, saying it would remove other channels from its offer and Zsolt Zaprel, director of marketing and content at UPC Hungary, arguing that there was no reason for it to pay for channels that Antenna Hungária, which operates the national DTT service, has for free.
Several speakers referred to the cost of programming acquisitions: while Tarr said it accounted for over 50% of its spend, Zaprel, without providing any figure, added that it also was the biggest cost for UPC.
Countering, Dirk Gerkens, CEO of RTL Klub, also said that the programming accounted for over 50% of its investment.
Zsolt Simon, head of TV2, meanwhile said that charges to cable operators would come into effect against the backdrop of a shrunk advertising market that has hit Hungarian broadcasters.