At the end of October 2016, the ten most important Hungarian telecommunication companies covered 93 percent of the market and delivered television programmes to 3.292m subscribers nationwide. According to the latest market research conducted by the National Media and Infocommunications Authority, more than 3.5m of the approximately 4.1m Hungarian households had access to cable television. The remaining nearly 600,000 households used satellite services. In October, of the various television services used, 44 percent were digital cable television or IPTV, 30.1 percent wireless television, and 25.9 percent analogue cable television. Digital broadcasting services were used by 74.1 percent of subscribers, contracted with the ten biggest telecommunication companies. Of the three largest telecommunication companies (Magyar Telekom, UPC and Digi TV), the market leader was UPC with a 26.8 percent share, followed by Magyar Telekom with a 25.5 percent share and Digi TV with a 24.9 percent share. Of the Hungarian population, 3.5 percent live in a household without television, according to the data of Nielsen Media Research. Of these, 186,000 watch television online.
The number of those watching television via online platforms shows a growing tendency, yet Hungarians consume digitally delivered content only once in a week or even more infrequently. According to a survey by Nielsen Media Research, 34 percent of the population watch television programmes on the Internet, of which 3 percent on a daily basis, 10 percent once or twice a week, and 22 percent more infrequently. Of this, 16 percent (1.4m people) access Hungarian television content, 1 percent on a daily basis, 3 percent once or twice a week, and 12 percent more infrequently. These 1.4m watch online television content on the following devices: 54 percent on a personal computer, 58 percent on a laptop, 14 percent on a tablet and 10 percent on a smartphone. As regards the sources, 64 percent use a television channel’s website, 43 percent use other websites, and 30 percent us other applications.
In terms of content, Hungarian viewers have a choice of over 130 nationwide free or subscription channels and a total of 390 local and regional channels, according to the National Media and Infocommunications Authority. Public television channels include M1 (airing news), M2/Petőfi (delivering children’s and youth programmes), M3 (rebroadcasting old programmes), M4 (sports), M5 (education, documentaries and culture), Duna (news and entertainment) and Duna World (news and entertainment for Hungarians living abroad). Online audiovisual programmes via on-demand streaming are provided by both the public broadcasting channels and the major commercial channels, and are mostly available on registration.
In 2013, the television sector had a total of 45.628bn forints (148.625m euros) share in the total advertising revenues. In 2015, this amount was 51.581bn forints (168.016m euros), meaning an 11.5 percent increase in revenue. The share of digital terrestrial television channels was 55 percent, while other (cable) channels had a 45 percent share, which means that the latter had increased their advertising revenues by 30 percent compared to 2014. The revenues of the market leader Magyar RTL Televízió Plt. amounted to 25.6bn forints (€83.38m), and the company had increased its revenues by 4.2bn forints (€13.68m) by 2015. TV2 Média Csoport Plt. closed the year 2015 with a 18.3bn forints (€59.6m) revenue, and had nearly doubled its revenues compared to the year before—not least because of generous state advertising.
According to Nielsen Media Research, Hungarians spent an average of 4 hours and 16 minutes a day watching television in October 2016. This evinces a 10-minute decrease compared to the same period in 2015. Linear television is still the most popular way to consume audiovisual content; only 1.3 percent (3.2 minutes) of the total time spent watching television was done in playback or TSV (time-shifted viewing) mode. In terms of audience share, in the third quarter of 2016 the major commercial television channels RTL Klub and TV2 together reached a 21.6 percent share, displaying a 2.6 percent loss compared to the same period in 2015; the public broadcasters combined had a 18.7 percent share and had raised their share by 0.7 percent; general entertaining channels had the second biggest share with 20.2 percent; the biggest change, a 2 percent increase, was made by movie channels, reaching a 11.4 percent share. The remaining 28.2 percent share was split between smaller specialised channels.