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Bertelsmann and SBS to win TV extension

Hungary will expand the television broadcasting licenses of Bertelsmann AG and SBS Broadcasting SA, which run the nation's two largest commercial channels, daily Népszabadság said, citing the country's media regulator. The majority of the regulator's board supports a five-year extension to 2012, said György Kovács, head of the watchdog, ORTT. The original 10-year licenses will expire in 2007. The two TV stations, TV2 and RTL Klub, have a combined 80 % share of viewers. Hungary, which started digital test broadcasts this year, will seek new bids for the licenses in 2012. Digital broadcasting will boost the number of available countrywide terrestrial channels to as many as 20 from the current three, one of which is reserved for state television.