In the sixth and last of a series of interviews with leading broadcasters and production and distribution companies in Central and Eastern Europe ahead of this year’s NATPE Budapest, Broadband TV News speaks with Peter Kolosi, Deputy CEO and Director of Programming, RTL Hungary.
RTL Hungary will be celebrating its 20th anniversary next year and has been the market leader almost since its launch. How has it managed to achieve such unprecedented success?
I think the most important element of this is RTL Klub’s systematic development of its programming line up and definitely its team and the television professionals who are working on the creation of our programmes. We try to follow the international trends and give the best entertainment and information service to our audience.
How does RTL’s programming differ from that of its main competitor TV2, and indeed publicly owned MTVA? Does it focus more on any specific genres, for instance, or have more in-house productions?
We have always had the most local productions. Many of these are on screen very successfully for years but we always have quite a few new shows as well. We have always been strong with realities, daily dramas and also big shows like X-Factor. Last year we started a new genre: with Divorce, RTL Klub shows its first weekly drama, which has not been on commercial TV for more than a decade.
What have been RTL Hungary’s most successful formats to date?
This spring our biggest success was The Farm. However, I also would like to mention My Mom Cooks better than Yours on RTL II. Our daily drama Barátok Közt, as well as Budapest Day & Night, are the leading shows on weekdays. I also have to mention our news, which is not just the market leader but the most credible and independent news in the country as well. This autumn, X-Factor, the countries biggest talent show, is coming back after a year of hiatus, but for example Konyhaf?nök, our very successful gastro reality, will be on screen too.
Have you noticed any significant changes in Hungarians’ programme viewing habits over the years and if so what are they?
Trends are very much the same as in other countries: fragmentation, more local programming on main channels, US fiction gets less interesting on the first generation channels. And local drama gets more importance.
RTL Hungary has a growing portfolio of thematic channels. Which ones are the most successful and are any more planned?
Regarding the 2nd generation channels, we sell the three most important ones Cool, Film+ and RTL II as RTL3 on the advertising market. This means a mirror break structure on those channels. By this RTL 3 has the 2nd biggest audience on many days. RTL + is definitely a channel with big potential, among the other four smaller ones.
What is RTL Hungary’s online strategy?
Our goal is that the audience can reach our content on the platform it wants to watch it on the most. We were the first ones offering a proper catch up site in Hungary and we constantly develop our online portfolio.
Looking to the future, how can you see RTL Hungary and the Hungarian market in general evolving over next 2-3 years? Will OTT services, including Netflix, start to make an impact?
I don’t think that Netflix will be a meaningful contender versus television in Hungary. The audience wants local content the most and it is what television creates in such a small market like Hungary. On top of that, Hungarians like to consume content that is dubbed if it is foreign.