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Television consumption in Hungary - statistics & facts

Public television broadcasting started in 1954 with the introduction of channel M1, the only Hungarian TV station up until the 1970s. It was owned by Magyar Televízió (MTV), the first public television institution in the country. The abolishment of Communism in 1989 provided other Hungarian broadcasting organizations with the opportunity to start new channels and allowed foreign enterprises to start broadcasting their programs in the country. Over the years, television became the most widely-consumed type of media in Hungary, reaching a penetration rate of 89 percent in 2019. Moreover, the estimated number of television subscriptions amounted to 3.5 million as of March 2020.

TV2 and RTL Klub are without a doubt the most popular television channels in Hungary, as in 2018, both channels accounted for over 10 percent of the audience share. Furthermore, Hungarians preferred watching general entertainment channels, such as the aforementioned TV2 and RTL Klub, as well as Super TV2, Film+, Cool, and Mozi+, which accounted for over 40 percent of the daily TV viewing time in 2019. When it comes to the television watching preferences of the youngest Hungarians, in 2018, M2 Petőfi and Minimax were the most popular channels with children under the age of three.

Watching television appears to be one of the most common leisure activities in Hungary, as in 2019, people between the ages of 18 and 49 years spent approximately three and a half hours watching TV every day, while for those older than 50 years daily television viewing time reached six and a half hours. Multiscreening, the simultaneous use of television and a smartphone, tablet, or computer, is a relatively new television consumption practice that emerged due to the extensive use of handheld electronic devices. It comes as no surprise that in 2020, the majority of internet users engaged in various second-screen activities, such as looking up actors or products that appeared on TV.

Subscription-based video on demand services, as well as movie streaming websites are gradually reshaping the way Hungarians consume video content. As of 2019, a quarter of Hungarians used video streaming services, such as Netflix or HBO GO, while 64 percent watched movies or series online. However, even if new ways of video consumption are gaining ground, it is not expected that television will lose its importance in people’s everyday lives in the near future.

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Television consumption in Hungary

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