Parliament approves HUF 113 billion in funding for state media bodies in 2013

The Hungarian Parliament has allocated a total of HUF 113 billion, roughly EUR 380 million, for the 2013 budgets of Hungary’s Media Authority, the Media Council, and Hungary’s media management body, the Media Services and Asset Management Fund (MTVA), according to reports.

Lawmakers approved HUF 78 billion (EUR 261.8 million) for the MTVA, HUF 35 billion (EUR 118 million) for the Media Authority, and HUF 126 million (EUR 427,400) for the Media Council. The new budget represents modest increases over the 2012 budget, when the MTVA received HUF 77.4 billion, the Media Authority Ft34.4 billion and the Media Council, received HUF 125 million. 

The MTVA, the body that was formed in 2010 to manage the public media, now enjoys a budget nearly twice that allocated for state-held media in 2010, when the Central budget allocated HUF 47 billion for public media.

On top of the state funding for its regular operations, the MTVA has also been borrowing funds to pay for renovation and construction at the body’s Budapest headquarters on Kunigunda útja, which is where public media operations are to be consolidated. The MTVA recently borrowed, HUF 63 billion for that work from a consortium of lenders made up of MFB, OTP Bank, KDB Bank and Magyar Takarékszövetkezet Bank. After first announcing that it would borrow HUF 40 billion on November 7, 2012, the MTVA announced a couple weeks later that it had increased the loan by HUF 23 billion (EUR 77 million). When asked by Parliament to explain the increase, the MTVA would not provide a reason for the extra money it borrowed.

Despite the increase in funding for public broadcasting, MTVA has laid off roughly 1,000 workers from public radio and TV, as well as the Hungarian news service, MTI.

The MTVA oversees the assets of and funding allocations for Hungary’s public media. It is managed by Hungary’s Media Council, which is responsible for approving the Fund’s annual plan and subsidy policy and for determining the rules governing how MTVA’s assets can be used, managed, and accessed by the public media.