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Hungary: Olympic Social Media Content Remains Scarce

This post is part of our special coverage London 2012 Olympics.

With the total of four Olympic medals so far, including two gold medals, the Hungarian team is now #12 in the London 2012 medal count. Something to be proud of, for sure – but discussions of these results and other Olympic news are hard to find in the Hungarian social media.

For example, the story of a fencing champion Áron Szilágyi, who won Hungary's first Olympic gold – and then had to listen to an off-key version of the national anthem, has so far received only ten ‘likes’ and three ‘shares’ [hu] on the Facebook page of the Hungarian Olympic Committee. (According to a Hungarian musician commenting for Index.hu [hu], the anthem, performed during Szilágyi's medal ceremony, was in some parts played at a much higher pitch than the original. The Hungarian team asked the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) for the anthem to be played differently at future gold medal ceremonies, and they agreed.)

Five days before the Olympics opening ceremony, blogger Medeaeva tried to draw attention [hu] to the comparatively low level of the official Hungarian social media coverage of the event, hoping for more in the upcoming days:

[...] It is simply in the interest of the athletes, fans and especially sponsors to have high activity on their official channels. Official channels of which we have a total of 1.5 pieces now. The FB page of the [Hungarian Olympic Committee--HOC], where they share the news from the HOC website without commenting on them (423 likes), and the so far pretty cheap-looking (I hope this isn't run by the HOC or the [Media Support and Asset Management Fund]) “Let's root for the Hungarian team” page (290 likes). This is it. Zilch. Nil. Nothing else. Zero. The social media presence of the Hungarian athletes is on a pathetic level. Even the page of the water polo team, which I looked up as a last hope, was disappointing. (Basically, you can only find it if you are looking for it very much. :-/) The IOC has set up quite a tempting website, that could be used as well. [...]

According to the Socialbakers’ stats, there are ca. 4.5 million Hungarian users on Facebook. At the moment of writing this post, the Hungarian Olympic Committee has 1279 ‘likes', “Let's root for the Hungarian team” has 687 ‘likes', and the water polo team is now up to 15,706 ‘likes'.

Ágnes Urbán of Standards Media Monitor blog was puzzled by the facts contradicting the reality. According to a press release, the Media Support and Asset Management Fund (MTVA)—Hungary's all-in-one public service media company—has dedicated a crew of 72 to produce TV and radio shows on the Olympics, websites and mobile apps, and even a 3D broadcast was announced. Urbán wrote [hu]:

[...] It's almost incomprehensible how the social media could be left out of all this big preparation: moreover, they wouldn't even have to spend huge amounts of money on this, from the produced content and the news constantly arriving to the desk, one or two colleagues who could touch well upon the style of the social communication and could have built a popular news source during the Games. Compared to this, MTVA's Olympics team didn't succeed in appearing on Twitter and Tumblr, and on Facebook MTVA Sport's presence is let's just say low-key. Meanwhile, writing these lines on the evening of the third day of the Olympics, the “MTVA's official sport page” has reached only 2,000 likes, which is virtually reached by any sport pages hitting on the popularity of the Olympics. [...]

Telefonközpont [hu], a blog on telecommunication in the digital age, is running a survey [hu] on its Facebook page until the end of the Games on how the Hungarian people follow the news of the London 2012 Olympics. So far, online press and television takes the lead, and Facebook is at #3.

This post is part of our special coverage London 2012 Olympics.

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