Indianapolis…Emmis Communications Corporation (Nasdaq: EMMS) today announced that it has reached an agreement with the Hungarian broadcasting authority, the National Radio and Television Board (ORTT), that will resolve pending issues and extend the company’s national license in Hungary through 2009.
“We are thrilled to have the pending issues resolved and look forward to continuing our involvement in Hungary,” Jeff Smulyan, Emmis President and CEO, said.
Emmis was awarded a national broadcast license for the Budapest-based Sláger Rádió in 1997 and has been involved in litigation with the ORTT in various Hungarian courts since 2001.
The agreement, which was approved in Hungary on a 5-0 vote by the ORTT, will require Emmis to pay the fees under the original broadcast contract in installments through November 2004. Emmis had previously reflected this obligation as a current maturity in its financial statements.
In addition, the agreement extends the life of the license. Originally set to expire in November of 2004, the license has been extended an additional five years with payment terms more reflective of the current Hungarian advertising environment.
“In the last year, Emmis has led the effort to rationalize media regulation in Hungary,” Paul Fiddick, President of Emmis International, said. “We are very happy to reach agreement with ORTT to extend our license term through 2009, and believe the people of Hungary — about a fourth of whom are Sláger listeners — are the beneficiaries.”