EU - TV without Frontiers: Commission proposes modernised rules for digital era TV and TV-like services +/-
(RAPID) A proposal to update the EU's 1989 "TV without Frontiers" Directive, to keep pace with rapid technological and market developments in Europe's audiovisual sector, was tabled by the European Commission. In line with the principle of better regulation, the proposal aims to reduce the regulatory burden on Europe's providers of TV and TV-like services and to give more flexibility for financing audiovisual content by new forms of advertising. The proposal will also create a level playing field for all companies that offer TV-like services, irrespective of the technology used to deliver them (e.g. broadcast, high-speed broadband, third generation mobiles). The Commission therefore proposes replacing disparate national rules on protection of minors, against incitement to racial hatred and against surreptitious advertising with a basic, EU-wide minimum standard of protection for audiovisual on demand services. the modernised TV without Frontiers Directive would govern TV and TV-like services. To open up the present EU rules to technological developments, the proposal distinguishes between "linear" services (e.g. scheduled broadcasting via traditional TV, the internet, or mobile phones, which "pushes" content to viewers), and "non-linear" ones, such as on-demand films or news, which the viewer "pulls" from a network. Today's TV broadcasting rules would apply to linear services in a modernised, more flexible form, whereas non-linear ones would be subject only to a basic set of minimum principles, e.g. to protect minors, prevent incitement to racial hatred and outlaw surreptitious advertising. The proposed modernisation of the TV without Frontiers Directive does not affect private correspondence, electronic versions of newspapers or magazines, web sites not primarily intended to provide audiovisual media content, mere audio transmissions or radio.