Cable Industry responds to long-awaited Audio-Visual Media Services agreement

Cable Industry responds to long-awaited Audio-Visual Media Services agreement
02/05/2018 Muriel Hirschfeld

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Cable Europe welcomes the political agreement reached in recent days on the revisions to the EU audio-visual rulebook[1] which provides a set of common rules for the European TV market. The revised rules, which form a part of the Digital Single Market Strategy, set out the operational and behavioural parameters within which the broadcasters and distributors of Europe’s vibrant audio-visual content industry will operate in the coming years.

The audio-visual media services landscape has changed – and continues to change – at breathtaking speed. Shaped by technological innovation and driven by consumer choice, there exists today different types of content and methods of distribution unthought of just a decade ago.

Cable operators, at the forefront of content distribution through the provision of high speed broadband connectivity and television services, welcome in particular:

  • The Directive’s amended rules to provide a level playing field for emerging audio-visual media. The continued efforts of legislators to recognise the changing nature of digital markets and the type of actors within them are crucial to sustaining healthy competition and investment in a wide range of services
  • In a similar vein, we also applaud the European Institutions for their action to align the rules for the protection of children in linear and non-linear services
  • The issue of how TV overlays are used in broadcasting has been contentious. The ability of a service provider to inform and guide their customer through a wide choice of content brings, in our view, a welcome and added value to the user experience. We are hopeful that legitimate uses of overlays will not be subject to regulation at national level when transposing the new rules
  • The country of origin principle has long been the cornerstone of the European audio-visual industry, allowing for the free movement of services whilst affording consumers the necessary confidence in the quality and legitimacy of the content they receive. It is to the benefit of all that the revised Directive overall retains this principle
  • Whilst allowing for the movement of works between and across Members States, the Directive also seeks to ensure the place of European works in the content ecosystem. It introduces a new 30% quota threshold for European on-demand content, which cable operators will play their part in honouring. Similarly, the measures to ensure the prominence of such content will be integral to operators’ service offer.

Cable Europe’s members look forward to working with our partners in the audio-visual services industry to continue to offer the highest quality and the widest choice to European consumers as this revised framework is implemented.

[1] Directive 2010/13/EU on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the provision of audio-visual media services in view of changing market realities.

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About Cable Europe

Cable Europe is the trade association that connects leading broadband cable TV operators and their national trade associations throughout the European Union. The regulatory and public policy activities of Cable Europe aim to promote and defend the industry’s policies and business interests at European and international level. The European cable industry provides high speed broadband internet, TV services, and telephony to more than 65.1 million homes in the European Union. www.cable-europe.

This paper represents the views of the full members of Cable Europe, and not necessarily those of our associate members, partners or affiliates.