As a result of many foreign investors leaving Hungary and domestic oligarchs purchasing their outlets in recent years, media in Hungary have undergone a large-scale transformation, and the current supply and ownership structure are highly different from those before the 2008 financial and economic crisis and the 2010 neo-authoritarian turn.
The top 100 media holdings include 55 print and online, 16 television, 11 outdoor, 9 online only, 5 radio, and 4 cinema companies. In 2015, more than 200 new outlets were launched, including 126 newspapers, 98 online sites, 14 television channels and 4 radio stations. Between 2008 and 2016, the media industry’s revenues decreased by 280bn forints (€912m, without counting the public media), displaying a 20 percent abatement. Only two kinds of media companies were permanently profitable between 2010 and 2015: some print outlets (including the tabloids Blikk and Bors, regional newspapers, and the quality daily Magyar Nemzet) and outdoor companies (owned by Lajos Simicska at the time). In 2015, the total revenues of the top 100 Hungarian media companies generated by distribution, advertising and other sources was 255.7bn forints (€832.89m), according to Whitereport mediabrowser. This figure shows a one percent increase compared to 2014, when the revenues of the top 100 media companies amounted to 252.7bn forints (€823.1m). Between 2013 and 2014, there was a 9bn forints (€29.3m) increase in the industry’s total revenues. According to Kantar Media agency, government advertisements constituted approximately 20 percent of the total advertising income in 2016.
The state also is a major player in that it runs a giant public service organisation, including seven radio stations, seven television channels, and the national news agency. In 2015, the central state budget allocated 80.5bn forints (€260m) to the public service media organisation (as the subscription fee had been cancelled in 2002). Yet this amount proved insufficient, and in September of the same year, the government granted an additional 47.2bn forints (€152m) to the organisation so that it could pay its debts. In that year, the annual budget of the institution amounted to 0.3 percent of the gross domestic product.