TV2 (Hungarian TV channel)
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|Broadcast area||Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia|
|Picture format||1080i HDTV|
(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed)
|Owner||TV2 Group (József Vida)|
|Key people||Pavel Stanchev, CEO|
Miklós Vaszily, President
Gábor Fischer, Programming Director
Spíler 1 TV
Spíler 2 TV
|Launched||4 October 1997|
|Digital terrestrial television||Channel 11|
|UPC Romania||Channel 753 (digital with DVR)|
Channel 186 (digital)
TV2 (TV kettő) is a Hungarian free-to-air television channel operating since 4 October 1997, providing a large variety of programming. It was owned by ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE until early 2014 when it was sold to two investors and then to Andrew G. Vajna in 2015. Vajna died on 20 January 2019, and then the whole group was sold to József Vida on June 2019. It is rivaling with RTL Klub for the first place in Hungarian television ratings. Among its most popular self-produced shows were Megasztár ("Mega Star", an adaptation of Pop Idol), and the daily prime time soap Jóban Rosszban, and US shows like Desperate Housewives, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Numb3rs, Heroes, Smallville, House M.D., Ghost Whisperer and Lipstick Jungle. TV2 is aired throughout Hungary.
Its parent company, the TV2 Group, which was formed in 2013 replacing MTM-SBS, operates a portfolio which includes TV2 and its 14 sister channels. The sister channels are Super TV2, FEM3, Mozi+, Zenebutik, Izaura TV, Spíler 1 TV, Spíler 2 TV, PRIME, TV2 Séf, TV2 Kids, TV2 Comedy, Jocky TV and Moziverzum. TV2 also operated Irisz TV, which timeshared with Chellomedia's Zone Club and was broadcast at primetime between 13 September 2004 and New Year's Eve 2006, and PRO4, which was launched on 3 January 2011, and was replaced by Mozi+ on 11 July 2016.
TV2 was one of the channels that was carried on the national analogue terrestrial service, along with M1, RTL Klub and the local channels, but those transmitters were shut down on 2 zones, on 31 July and 31 October 2013 respectively.
In 2020, TV2 was the market-leading commercial television channel in Hungary in daytime.
In February 2021, its streaming service called TV2 Play was launched, where previous programs and series can be watched.
The current CEO is the French-Bulgarian media professional Pavel Stantchev.
|Original title||Hungarian title||Type||Original country|
|Under the dome||A búra alatt||Drama||United States|
|The Good Wife||A férjem védelmében|
|Early Edition||A kiválasztott - Az amerikai látnok|
|Fairly Legal||Békétlen békítő||Comedy-drama|
|Bűnök és szerelmek||Bűnök és szerelmek||Drama||Hungary|
|Családi titkok||Családi titkok||Docu-reality|
|L.A. Doctors||Doktorok||Drama||United States|
|Law and Order: LA||Esküdt ellenségek: Los Angeles|
|Jóban Rosszban||Jóban Rosszban||Hungary|
|Royal Pains||Luxusdoki||Comedy-drama||United States|
|Monk||Monk - Flúgos nyomozó|
|NCIS: Los Angeles||NCIS - Los Angeles|
|Ringer||Ringer - A vér kötelez||Drama|
|Elementary||Sherlock és Watson|
|Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye||Sue Thomas: FBI|
|Desperate Housewives||Született feleségek||Comedy|
|Xena: Warrior Princess||Xena||Fantasy||United States|
|7th Heaven||7th Heaven||Family-drama||United States|
|Title||In English||Type||English version|
|9 hónap||9 months||Lifestyle||-|
|A Szépségkirálnyő||The Beauty Queen||Beauty contest|
|Aktív extra||Active Extra|
|Az ének iskolája||The School of Song||Talent show||Masterclass|
|Én is menyasszony vagyok!||I'm a Bride Too!||Reality|
|Frizbi Hajdú Péterrel||Frisbee with Péter Hajdú||Late night talk show|
|Hal a tortán||Fish on the Cake||Reality||Come Dine With Me|
|Magyarország, jövünk!||Hungary, Here We Come!||Travel||-|
|Megasztár||Megastar||Talent show||Pop Idol|
|Mr. és Mrs.||Mr. and Mrs.||Game show||All-Star Mr & Mrs|
|The Voice - Magyarország hangja||The Voice of Hungary||Talent show||The Voice|
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Criticism and controversy
Takeover by Andy Vajna and relationship with government
Since 2015, the station has been a considered a mouthpiece for the Fidesz-KDNP coalition government. After the station was sold by ProSiebenSat.1 Media to the station's then managing directors, Zsolt Simon and Yvonne Dederick, with a loan of 25 million forints to pay the station's debts, opposition media began commenting that Károly Fonyó, the owner of a company associated with Lajos Simicska (a former pro-Fidesz media mogul who, by then, was critical of the government's plan to impose an advertising tax to competitor RTL Klub, resulting on a long-term dispute), was attempting to buy the station from both managing directors, in exchange of the payment of the aforementioned 25 million forints. As a result, Simon and Dederick began reorganising parent company MTM-SBS Kft., with both managers creating their respective holding companies, namely D6D Kft. and CCA Vízió Kft., and later making a joint venture to manage the TV2 channels. This joint venture later evolved into the current TV2 Média Csoport Kft., established by the merger of both holding companies in the summer of 2014.
At the same time, Andy Vajna, with the assistance of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, and state-owned lender Eximbank, began negotiating with Simon and Dederick for the acquisition of the TV2 Média Csoport holding company. This led to a high-stakes acquisition process which eventually became sided in favour of Vajna. On October 13, 2015, Fonyó submitted its bid for the TV2 group of channels, which was quickly followed by Vajna's bid for the broadcaster, to which Simon and Dederick would succumb almost immediately. Vajna quickly dismissed both executives, being replaced by the former managing director of RTL Klub, Dirk Gerkens (dismissed from the channel after the heavy controversy caused by the aforementioned ad tax proposal). The editorial team of the Tények newscast was also fully replaced, with Vivien Szalai, the former editor in chief of the tabloid and pro-government Story newsmagazine, becoming the chief news director, and Nóra Kunfalvi, former Hír TV anchor, becoming the station's lead anchor.
After the Vajna takeover, the TV2 group of channels rapidly grew, from only four channels, to 13 channels. Most of these channels launched within three months, causing scepticism from many media insiders, even declaring that this massive rollout "would completely reshape the Hungarian media market". Most of these new channels became focused on niche genres, with a focus on local productions, for example, gastronomy and Hungarian cuisine, movies, music, lifestyle and even cartoons. That same year, TV2 won nearly a fifth of state advertising spending, four times more than RTL Klub, according to the independent Hungarian watchdog Mérték Media Monitor.
After Vajna's death, József Vida, the chairman of savings bank Takarékbank, took over the TV2 Group through his Abraham Goldmann Investment Trust. Vida has a close relationship with pro-Orbán businessman Lőrinc Mészáros. After taking over the group, Gerkens stepped down as CEO and Miklós Vaszily took over in the same position. He was later joined by French-Bulgarian media professional Pavel Stanchev, who has retained the station's political positions in favour of the government. However, he began to leverage the station's transition to a digital-first environment, by renaming the niche channels to make them more in line with the mother channel, and launching a centralized streaming portal, TV2 Play, where alongside catch-up programming, previous programs and series can be watched.
Vida also negotiated the station's expansion to other countries. In October 2020, TV2 bought the Slovenian commercial network Planet TV from Telekom Slovenije. The channel had suffered from financial problems and struggling ratings dating back to its launch in 2012. The merger generated heavy concerns about the station's independence as well as the increasing influence of pro-Orbán businessmen in Slovenian media, and its growing links with prime minister Janez Janša.
- "High-stake battle for the ownership of Hungary's TV2". 24 October 2015.
- Byrne, Andrew (16 August 2016). "Orban tightens grip on Hungary's media". Financial Times.
- "Andy Vajna's TV station: The government's attack dog". 21 March 2016.
- "TV2 Group plans to launch ten new channels - BBJ".
- "Mérték - Médiaelemző Műhely". Mérték. Retrieved 2021-07-09.
- "József Vida confirms TV2 purchase - BBJ". BBJ.hu. Retrieved 2021-07-09.
- "Bulgarian Pavel Stanchev Heads Hungary's most Popular TV Network - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency". www.novinite.com. Retrieved 2021-07-09.
- Editor. "Telekom Slovenije sells Planet TV to Hungary's TV2". advanced-television.com. Retrieved 2021-07-09.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
- Official Site (in Hungarian)