TV2’s Local Output On a Growth Curve

Hungary’s TV2 Group is increasing its investment in local programming. Gábor Fischer, programming director at the company’s cable portfolio, and Gergely Ökrös, program and creative director at TV2 Group, explain the strategy.

How is Hungary’s TV landscape changing?

Fischer: In the past year, TV2 Group increased its portfolio from four to 11 channels, implementing the biggest investment in programming of the last 15 years. Fragmentation has affected the biggest players too, with leading cable channels suffering the biggest losses. But TV2 Group has managed to increase its market share.

The difference between Hungary’s two leading media groups [RTL Group and TV2 Group] has not been so narrow since 2010. Our portfolio-focused strategy is the key to our success. The portfolio development has caused a big boom in production, not only at TV2. In 2016, the ad market grew by 9% but it is still much smaller (down by 22%) than it was in 2008. Our goal is to build the top television portfolio in Hungary and invest further in acquisitions, local production, fiction, sports rights and digital platforms.

What has been the impact of SVoD in Hungary?

Ökrös: Video-on-demand has not impacted on Hungary much yet. The existing VoD platforms do not offer appealing content, and that does not encourage viewers to subscribe. Developing

VoD platforms and making our content available via other platforms are key elements for our future growth.

How are TV2 Group’s original production plans changing?

Ökrös: Local production plays a key role in reaching our goal of building the number one TV portfolio in Hungary. ITV format Big Star’s Little Star debuted on TV2 and – unprecedentedly – in a daily slot. The show was the highlight of the season, and the premiere episode’s market share was 18.5% of 18- to 59-year-olds and it was an absolute slot winner.

In the fall season, TV2 Group will introduce more international formats to Hungary, such as Asia Express (4MAT4), Ninja Warrior (Dentsu Aegis), Game of Chefs (ITV) and X-Diaries (All3Media). Your Face Sounds Familiar (Endemol Shine Group) will return with its fifth season and Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids & Co with its second season to Super TV2.

Local fiction is a big trend in Hungarian television, and TV2 Group has joined this by buying and adapting the popular dramedy Step Dave (All3Media).

What is the role of acquired programming on TV2’s schedules?

Fischer: Acquired programs are getting excluded from the primetime slots on our main channels and local productions are taking their place. Only acquired movies can generate high audience ratings but we can also see international series are losing their appeal. In access prime time, telenovelas are the most popular, and Turkish series are getting more attractive than the once popular South American ones.

International, mostly American, thematic series find their perfect place on our cable channels. Besides TV2, our portfolio offers premium general entertainment channel Super TV2; movie channel Mozi+; and premium entertainment channel Prime, where series and movies air.

For gastronomy lovers, we also have Chili TV and Spíler TV is our sports channel with the English Premier League and Moto GP. Kiwi TV offers entertainment for children, while Izaura TV is for telenovela fans. We also have music net Zenebutik, comedy channel Humor+ and lifestyle channel Fem3.

What international shows has TV2 acquired recently?

Fischer: We have acquired some popular Turkish series. In Hungary, the most popular acquired series is Fatmagül and it airs on TV2. Paramparça and Magnificent Century: Kösem are also in our grid. US drama Devious Maids is on TV2, and the new season of Prison Break was broadcast on Prime. In the autumn season, Cesur ve Güzel will come to TV2. We also recently acquired the US sitcoms The Mick and Kevin Can Wait.

What programming is TV2 Group looking to acquire for next season?

Fischer: We have a wide range of genres in our channel portfolio, so we are looking for movies, series, formats for kids, gastronomy, original daily entertainment, reality show, game shows and weekly high-concept entertainment shows.

What is your mission for this year’s NATPE Budapest?

Ökrös: NATPE is good because we have a real track record from the spring season. It is a great moment to make some final decisions regarding the fall or get new deals for next spring.

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This article was originally featured in the official NATPE Budapest Global TV Market & Conference Market Guide, powered by C21 Media.