Cable Europe has welcomed the European Commission’s legislative proposal of May 2016 to review the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, in particular the de-regulatory approach on commercial communications, the safeguarding of the country of origin principle, and the emphasis on self- and co-regulation. Nevertheless, we are calling upon the EU legislator to move away from quotas and focus instead on incentivising the audiovisual industry. We are also concerned that any findability/must-be-found type of obligations, which Member States would be able to impose at national level, could not only limit users’ choice but also discriminate against content that is not granted preferred visibility. Cable Europe’s specific concerns on the European Parliament’s position as adopted by its CULT committee in April 2017 and endorsed in the May 2017 plenary session, can be found here.

In general our position on the AVMS review follows the line we have taken in our response to the 2013 Commission’s Green Paper on a converged audiovisual world on how to transform convergence in the audiovisual sector into economic growth and innovation while, at the same time, to continue protecting the values that are at the basis of the EU audiovisual regulation.

Cable Europe’s response to the Green Paper had stressed the importance of a competitive, market-driven approach of regulation and policy and the need to avoid the promotion of a single technology or platform. We had identified as key conditions, the availability of content across multiple devices/platforms, the promotion of privately funded platforms/distribution infrastructures, and the need for suitable tools to prevent abuse by content monopolies. We also advocated lowering the regulatory barriers to all market players in order to allow European providers to effectively compete with external (OTTs) players. Deregulation should be complemented by self regulation in specific areas, such as child protection.