RTL Group has moved the licenses of its Hungarian cable channels to Luxembourg, leaving only its RTL Klub service remaining in the country. Luxembourg licenses for cable channels including RTL+, Film+, Muzsika TV and Cool TV will now be granted to RTL Group’s Luxembourg-based subsidiary CLT-UFA. The change will be effective from 1 January 2015.
"Having reassessed the unfavourable economic situation in Hungary we have decided to make the operation of our cable portfolio more cost efficient and move the televisions to Luxembourg where we have an appropriate infrastructure and crew," the group told index.hu in a statement.
It added that “this measure is not new and not even unusual from the pan-European RTL Group, and it is compliant with every EU law and regulation.”
In 2011 the group acquired seven Hungarian cable channels which have been operating with a Romanian license, with the exception of Muzsika TV.
The move will not affect RTL Group’s obligation to pay the top rate of a controversial new advertising tax that came into effect in Hungary this summer, and the Group has said it “will remain deeply rooted in Hungary”.
RTL claims Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's cabinet is specifically targeting RTL Klub with a new advertising tax payable on revenues, especially its highest rate, which has recently been raised to 50 per cent. The group has turned to the European Court of Justice over the levy.
Portfolio and Handelsblatt reported that Orbán has struck a conciliatory tone in the dispute with RTL Group over the tax. Speaking in Germany, he said that sooner or later an individual solution for the problems of the media sector can be possible.