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IRIS 2018-3:1/20


Hungarian media authority fines pay-TV broadcaster UPC

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Ingo Beckendorf

Institute of European Media Law (EMR), Saarbrücken/Brussels

On 27 December 2017, the Hungarian media regulator, Nemzeti Média- és Hírközlési Hatóság (NMHH), imposed a fine of HUF 121 million (approx. EUR 391 000) on TV channel UPC Direct for a serious infringement. It stated that the fine exceeded the financial advantage gained by the broadcaster from the infringement.

The fine was imposed because, two years ago, UPC Direct had offered so-called triple-play services, that is to say, a bundled package of telephone, television and Internet, in the Hungarian city of Cegléd without informing the regulatory body. The regulator did not register the service until 28 September 2017 and concluded that UPC Direct had been offering it without official authorisation. The company had also failed to guarantee compliance with technical standards or legislative provisions.

This is not the media group’s first infringement. It was fined HUF 30 million (approximately EUR 97 500) in May 2017 for launching cable television in the Hungarian city of Jászberény without permission.

UPC Direct is not purely a pay-TV broadcaster. It mainly carries programmes for Central and East European cable networks and a few digital TV channels, including some Polish, Czech and Hungarian channels. They are all encrypted in Cryptoworks and received via Hotbird satellite. UPC Direct was formed when Cyfra+ merged with Wizja TV.


Súlyos jogsértés miatt 121 millió forintos hírközlési bírság a UPC-nek HU
  NMHH press release