Hot Topic - Hungary Media
Opportunity and cash are charting the ebb and flow of recent media transactions. With most developed markets, strategic investors are buyers and financial investors are sellers as valuations continue to rise. In developing markets, media asset values have plummeted to historic low levels, changing the equation. Speculators are having a field day.
Broadcast licensing, for some, is a license to make money. Broadcasters have long railed against so called beauty contests for new or renewal concessions with onerous public service commitments plus technical and even financial requirements. Some regulators have agreed to make it simple and hold auctions. Sometimes it doesn’t work out.
Broadcasters often view media regulators as slightly less interesting than accountants. Always quoting the rulebook does not make good cocktail conversation. But these oracles of law and order can have a creative side… in a manner of speaking.
In the blink of the eye, we’re in 2012. Little has changed across the threshold except the calendar. Despots continue to push on media. But there’s always an election coming. “Every nation,” we’ve heard, “gets the government it deserves.”
Media watchers can wail and moan all day and all night. Once a political strongman decides to slam the door on independent media there’s little anyone can do. It’s “regrettable.”
The perfect storm cliché falls powerfully short in describing the havoc to befall the media sector in recent years. As digital media took its place in the sun economic malaise brought turbulance. Crony capitalism and poor public policy replaced crony statism and weak public policy. Riding out this storm is infinitely difficult.
Media policies, in theory, exist to help things work smoothly. Think how difficult broadcasting would be with spectrum rules. They can, in reality, be heavy handed or, even, under-handed. Unlike the laws of physics, sometimes its best to just try again.
See also in ftm Knowledge...
Flying Through Turbulence – Media in the New EU Member States
ftm reports on media in the 12 newest EU Member States. Will media find clear air or more turbulence? Country reports, company reports and broadcaster/publisher reports. 98 pages PDF file (February 2007)
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