Public TV to be restructured as control is consolidated

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Hungarian state-owned television channels are facing reorganization and consolidation of their management by March 15, according a statement released this afternoon by the Hungarian Media Authority (MTVA).

Under the plan announced, M1, the most watched of all public TV stations and now a general interest channel, will be transformed into a news-only channel. According to MTVA, the new M1 will resemble BBC, as it was the model the creators followed when restructuring the channel. The new channel is to be rebranded with a new image, which is to be planned by Simon Jago, a British expert who worked on the image of BBC World News, Al Jazeera and many other channels.

Duna Television would step into the role of “main national channel”, and will become available for everyone, just like M1, under the plan. Duna Television is to offer public service and cultural shows for people in Hungary and for Hungarians living all around the Carpathian basin.

Also as of March 15, the number two public television station, which is currently called M2, is to be renamed Petőfi TV, and a brand new public sports channel, M4 Sport, is to be launched.

Thus, after the reorganization, the new channels would be as follows: M1, Duna TV, Petőfi TV and M4 Sport.

In line with the legislation approved by Parliament at the end of last year, one single company, called the Duna Médiaszolgáltató Zrt., will be responsible for controlling all public television in Hungary. Up until now this control was divided between MTV Zrt and Duna TV Zrt.

All the public channels in Hungary are to  be available for Hungarians free of charge.

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