EU looks at reform of TV services directive

Monday 6 July 2015 | 13:58 CET | News
The European Commission started a public consultation to consider possible changes to the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, which regulates TV services in the EU. As part of the Commission's Digital Single Market strategy, the AVMSD will be reviewed in 2016 to see whether it's working well and if it needs to be changed to take account of new online services offered across borders. 

The main questions in the consultation are whether respondents think the current directive is working well or should we improved, what roles and responsibilities should market players (broadcasters, on-demand service providers, internet services, telecom operators, etc.) have, and how to protect viewers (particularly children), promote European works and access to information and regulate advertising in the audiovisual online world. The Commission said it particularly wants feedback from users of audiovisual services, and not just market players, in the consultation open until 30 September. 

Some of the issues under consideration include expanding the scope of the directive. It currently applies to TV broadcasters and on-demand services like Netflix, but not to internet services hosting user-generated content (like YouTube, Vimeo etc). Broadcasters also face stricter rules in some areas, such as facilitating access for disabled people, not showing content that could harm children or promoting European cultural works. The Commission will consider whether these elements should also be extended to on-demand services. In addition, the AVMSD requires companies providing services across the EU to adhere to the rules only of the country under whose jurisdiction they fall. Given the increasingly cross-border media market, this system may be up for reform. 

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