RTL Group moves Hungarian cable channels to Luxembourg

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RTL Group is moving its cable portfolio in Hungary to Luxembourg, and its only service remaining in Hungary will be its flagship RTL Klub channel, local news portal index.hu has learned late today. The restructuring does not affect the company’s advertising tax obligation in Hungary.

Six cable channels active in Hungary will be operating under RTL Group’s Luxembourg-based subsidiary CLT-UFA.

RTL Group has confirmed the move, index.hu said. The change will be effective 1 January 2015.

RTL Group acquired the Hungarian-language cable channels in 2011.

"Having reassessed the unfavourable economic situation in Hungary we have decided to make the operation of our cable portfolio more cost efficient and move the televisions to Luxembourg where we have an appropriate infrastructure and crew," the group told index.hu in an emailed statement.

It added that RTL Group and Luxembourg have enjoyed a good relationship for long years and several channels of the group, e.g. the Dutch and Belgian broadcasters, have been operating with Luxembourg licences for a long time.

"Therefore this measure is not new and not even unusual from the pan-European RTL Group, and it is compliant with every EU law and regulation."

The group also said that "payment of the advertising tax in Hungary will not be affected in any sense by the restructuring."

Critics and RTL claim the Hungarian government is specifically targeting RTL Klub with a new advertising tax payable on revenues, especially its highest rate, which has recently been raised to 50% from 40%. The group has turned to the European Court of Justice over the levy, economic news portal portfolio.hu added.

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