22 December 2009

EU - Time up for Member States to tune TV rules to digital age

(RAPID)
Two years after the adoption of modernising EU TV rules removing outdated restrictions on digital TV over the internet, video on demand and mobile TV, only three countries - Belgium, Romania and Slovakia - have officially notified the European Commission of measures putting them in place, as required under EU law. The Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMS Directive) rebooted EU rules on traditional TV broadcasting for the digital age. EU countries had until 19 December 2009 to turn the modernised rules for Europe's audiovisual industry into national law. The Directive creates a single market for all audiovisual media services, providing legal certainty for businesses and protection for consumers.

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07 December 2009

EU - Commission investigation into funding system for Spanish public broadcaster RTVE

(Euroap)
The European Commission has opened a formal investigation under the EU state aid rules into the new tax based funding system for the Spanish public broadcaster RTVE. Spain is planning to modify the public broadcasting system by abolishing advertising and other commercial activities of RTVE and replacing this source of income by newly introduced taxes on TV and telecommunications operators. The Commission does not object to the modification of the funding system as such, but has doubts concerning the compatibility of the new tax with EU law. In particular, the Commission doubts whether the new taxes are in line with EU rules on electronic communications networks and services.

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09 October 2009

CoE - Recommendation 1855 (2009) - The regulation of audio-visual media services

(Council of Europe)
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) points out that media regulation must respect freedom of expression and information. Technological change in the audiovisual media has made it necessary to revise the European Convention on Transfrontier Television (ECTT), whose aim is to ensure freedom of transmission and retransmission of broadcasting in Europe regardless of frontiers. It proposed that the current revision of the ECTT should respect this freedom, define the "public service mission" of audiovisual media services and re-examine the role of the Standing Committee with regard to its supervisory function over compliance with convention obligations and arbitration. PACE also proposed that measures should be taken to address the allocation of radio-frequency spectrum following the analogue switch-off of broadcasting in many countries as well as the independence of national regulators for the audiovisual media sector.

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06 July 2009

EU: State aid: Commission updates rules for state funding of public broadcasters

(RAPID)
The European Commission has adopted a new Communication on state aid for the funding of public service broadcasters. The new Communication replaces the Commission?s 2001 Broadcasting Communication. The main changes include an increased focus on accountability and effective control at the national level, including a transparent evaluation of the overall impact of publicly-funded new media services. The main changes in the new Communication concern: the ex ante control of significant new services launched by public service broadcasters (balancing the market impact of such new services with their public value); clarifications concerning the inclusion of pay services in the public service remit; more effective control of overcompensation and supervision of the public service mission on the national level. See Communication from the Commission on the application of state aid rules to public service broadcasting. See also State TV new media ventures under EU scrutiny (EurActiv).

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22 March 2009

UK - Online video regulation structure outlined by Government

(OUT-LAW News)
Media regulator Ofcom will take over the regulation of video on demand services, but will delegate it to an industry-formulated co-regulator. The Government has published details of how it will ensure that the UK complies with the European Union's Audio-Visual Media Services (AVMS) Directive, which extends regulation to television-like programmes regardless of the medium used to show them.

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24 February 2009

EU - And the Oscar goes to...: Unprecedented success for EU-supported film "Slumdog Millionaire"

(RAPID)
8 Oscars were awarded to "Slumdog Millionaire" at the 81st Academy Award ceremony in Hollywood. This UK film was co-funded under the EU's film support programme MEDIA. These include the most prestigious prizes: Best Film and Best Director (Danny Boyle). "Slumdog Millionaire" received €830,000 support from the MEDIA programme for distribution in 2008 and 2009. The total budget of the film is estimated to be €11 million. See also Seven EU-funded films nominated for Oscars for more on the EU's MEDIA programme, the other Oscar nominees co-funded under MEDIA and previous Oscar winners.

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13 January 2009

EU-Parlamentarier kritisieren Kommissionspläne zur Regulierung des öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunks

(Heise)
Auf der Plenarsitzung des Europäischen Parlaments am gestrigen Montag in Straßburg übten die Abgeordneten erneut Kritik am aktuellen Entwurf (PDF-Datei) des Nachfolgedokuments der sogenannten "Rundfunkmitteilung" von 2001, in dem die EU-Kommission die Finanzierung des öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunks einheitlicher regeln will. Der Streit entzündet sich an der Frage, wie sehr die Kommission den Mitgliedsstaaten im sensiblen Feld der Finanzierung des öffentlichen Rundfunks "hineinregiere", wie viele Parlamentarier es nennen.

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23 November 2008

EU - Brüssel, ARD und ZDF - Stellungnahme zu 6 Mythen vom medienpolitischen Stammtisch

(RAPID)
Vortrag von Viviane Reding, EU-Medienkommissarin, Zu Gast bei Peter Müller: "Europa contra ARD und ZDF? Welche Perspektive lässt die EU-Kommission dem gebührenfinanzierten öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunk in Deutschland?", Berlin, 10. November 2008

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06 August 2008

EU - State aid: Commission approves rescue loan for TV 2 Denmark

(RAPID)
The European Commission has authorised, under the EC Treaty's rules on state aid, a credit facility granted by the Danish Ministry of Culture to support TV 2 Danmark AS. The Commission concluded that the credit facility, which addresses the company's cash flow problems, constitutes rescue aid in line with the EU rules on state aid to companies in difficulty. In due time, the Commission will review whether the credit is fully reimbursed or whether appropriate restructuring measures to restore the long term viability of TV 2 Danmark AS are taken.

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25 July 2008

EU - Almost two thirds of television time is "Made in Europe"

(RAPID)
More than 63% of Europe's television broadcasters' programming time is devoted to European works and over 36% to works by independent European producers. These new figures come from the European Commission's eighth report on effectiveness of EU rules on the promotion of European works, which covers the period 2005-2006. This report which is published every two years is based on information provided by the EU Member States and monitors the promotion of European works on European TV screens under the 'Television without Frontiers' Directive.

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EU - Almost two thirds of television time is "Made in Europe"

(RAPID)
More than 63% of Europe's television broadcasters' programming time is devoted to European works and over 36% to works by independent European producers. These new figures come from the European Commission's eighth report on effectiveness of EU rules on the promotion of European works, which covers the period 2005-2006. This report which is published every two years is based on information provided by the EU Member States and monitors the promotion of European works on European TV screens under the 'Television without Frontiers' Directive.

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20 July 2008

EU - The way ahead for the Broadcasting Communication

(RAPID)
Speech by Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for Competition Policy, Broadcasting conference, Strasbourg, 17 July 2008

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13 July 2008

FR - Sarkozy looking to build national media champion

(IHT)
When President Nicolas Sarkozy announced in January that he would ban commercials from public television, it took only moments for the share price of private broadcasters to react. It was also the first hint that behind a profound and controversial shake-up of the French public television sector loomed a much larger vision - one involving private media companies, some of Sarkozy's closest friends in the business and a long-held ambition of the president to groom that special breed of company he had already created in other industries: the national champion.There is no French multimedia empire comparable to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. or Bertelsmann of Germany, which own newspapers, television channels and radio interests and Internet ventures worldwide. And there is no French equivalent of British Broadcasting Corp., with an international reputation and no advertising pressures.

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29 June 2008

EU - State aid for broadcasting

(RAPID)
Speech by Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for Competition Policy, Medienforum, Cologne, 9th June 2008

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01 June 2008

UK - Call for controls on BBC website

(BBC)
There should be tighter controls on the management of the BBC's website - in part to prevent it stifling commercial rivals, the BBC Trust has said. After reviewing bbc.co.uk, the trust said it was "an excellent service" but that its content had to be different from that on rival websites. And it criticised the site's management for a £3.5m overspend last year.

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27 May 2008

EU-funded films sweep up the prestigious Palme d'0r and Grand Prize at Cannes

(Europa)
Amongst the films receiving honours at the awards ceremony at this year's Cannes Film Festival were 4 films funded by the EU's Media Programme: "Entre Les Murs" directed by Laurent Cantet (France) won the Palme d'Or, whilst "Gomorra" directed by Matteo Garrone (Italy), swept up the Grand Prize of the festival. "Le silence de Lorna" directed by Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne (Belgium) won the prize for the best scenario, and the film "Tulpan", directed by Sergey Dvortsevoy (Kazahstan) was awarded the Prix Un Certain Regard. These films were amongst the 14 screened at the Festival that had been developed or distributed with support of more than EUR 900 000 from the European Union's MEDIA programme

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24 May 2008

FR - Télévision publique : les acteurs du Net refusent d'être taxés

(ZDNet France)
L'Asic et Renaissance Numérique critiquent vertement le scénario de la Commission Copé qui remet sur la table l'hypothèse d'une taxation des revenus publicitaires des portails internet pour financer l'audiovisuel public. Elles sont d'autant plus virulentes que cette idée est soutenue par les opérateurs télécoms.

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09 May 2008

EU - Spain not complying with television advertising restrictions

(RAPID)
The Commission has sent Spain a reasoned opinion for failing to comply with the television advertising rules in the Television without frontiers Directive. The infringement procedure, started in July 2007, is based on a monitoring report that found that the main TV channels in Spain, both publicly funded and commercial, failed regularly and by some margin to restrict advertising and teleshopping spots to 12 minutes per clock hour.

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26 February 2008

EU - Europe funds internet TV standard

(BBC News)
The European Union is spending 14m euros (£10.5m) to create a standard way to send TV via the net. An additional 5m euros (£3.7m) is being contributed to the project by 21 other partners including the BBC and the European Broadcasting Union. The project will create a peer-to-peer system (based on the BitTorrent technology) that can pipe programmes to set-top boxes and home TV sets.

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19 January 2008

EU - Romania to protest cartoon featuring with "suicidal squirrels" to the European Commission

(Associated Press)
A darkly humorous cartoon showing squirrels hanging themselves and throwing themselves in front of cars has drawn the ire of Romanian broadcasting authorities. But Romanian authorities have no control over the cartoon, because it is broadcast on a channel with a British license. The Romanian regulatory body for television broadcasting said it would make an official protest to the European Commission about the one-minute cartoon shown every afternoon on the British-licensed channel AXN.

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10 January 2008

DE - Commission launches public consultation on State funding of public service broadcasting

(RAPID)
The European Commission has published a consultation paper on the future framework which will apply to State funding of public service broadcasting. This consultation gives Member States and stakeholders the opportunity to submit their views at an early stage, before any Commission proposal, on the possible revision of the Broadcasting Communication. Comments should be submitted by 10 March 2008. Having reviewed the comments, the Commission may come forward later this year with a proposal for a revised Broadcasting Communication, with a view to its adoption in the first half of 2009.

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EU - Sarkozy proposes new internet tax

(BBC)
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has proposed new taxes on internet access and mobile phone use. The new taxes would help fund France's two public television channels, which would be free of advertising. There would also be a levy on the advertising revenue made by France's private broadcasters.

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04 January 2008

EU - Audiovisual Media Services Directive

(Eur-Lex)
Directive 2007/65/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2007 amending Council Directive 89/552/EEC on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the pursuit of television broadcasting activities OJ L 332, 18.12.2007, p. 27?45.

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01 December 2007

EU - Audiovisual Media Services Directive is passed

(OUT-LAW News)
A new Directive that will regulate TV advertising and product placement across the EU was passed by the European Parliament. The Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive will cover internet TV and on-demand services. Member States now have two years to make the Directive national law. It replaces the 1997 TV Without Frontiers Directive. The rules do not apply to private websites. They cover an "audiovisual media service" that is "under the editorial responsibility of a media service provider". Editorial responsibility requires "effective control both over the selection of the programmes and over their organisation either in a chronological schedule, in the case of television broadcasts, or in a catalogue, in the case of on-demand audiovisual media services." A site like YouTube will not be caught by the rules. TV programmes offered 'on demand' from the internet will be covered by rules concerning protection of minors and product placement though not rules concerning the amount of time allowed for advertising.

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14 November 2007

EU - EP Culture and Education Committee endorses new TV advertising rules

(EP)
New EU rules on TV advertising and product placement could be adopted before Christmas, as the Council common position on these rules, already negotiated with Parliament, was officially approved by Committee on Culture and Education on the evening of Monday 12 November. Parliament is to take its final plenary vote on the text, which the Committee did not change, in Brussels on 29 November

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29 September 2007

EU - Le nouveau contexte des médias audiovisuels – tendances et enjeux publics

(RAPID)
Discours de Viviane Reding, Membre de la Commission européenne responsable de la Société de l'Information et des Médias. Colloque international pour les 10 ans du Conseil supérieur de l´audiovisuel de la Communauté française de Belgique. Bruxelles, le 21 septembre 2007

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06 August 2007

UK - C4 phone line move to cost it £3m

(FT)
Channel 4 has responded to a spate of scandals over premium rate phone lines by announcing that it would no longer seek to make a profit from them ? a decision that will deal a huge financial blow to the broadcaster. In a statement, Channel 4 said the move was an attempt to regain the trust of its audience and played down the financial impact, saying that it would cost the company only £3m in the current financial year. In fact, in the last full financial year, PRTS contributed "more than £10m" to overall pre-tax profits of £21.3m.

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UK - Phone-ins - Regaining viewers? trust is the real issue

(FT)
Despite a breakdown in trust and an outbreak of "format fatigue" over Big Brother, there is no end in sight for interactive "reality" television, two leading broadcasters have told the FT. With Channel 4 announcing last week that it would stop using premium-rate telephone services for profit and ITV awaiting the outcome of a report into its phone-ins, the reliance of commercial television on participatory programming is under the spotlight.

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03 June 2007

EU - Ministers commit to a vibrant European audiovisual sector without frontiers at Cannes

(RAPID)
EU Ministers for Culture gathered at the Cannes International Film Festival to pledge their support for Europe's audiovisual industry at a time when it faces unprecedented change, driven largely by the impact of digital technologies and the resulting change in audience behaviour. The EU Ministers' commitment to the audiovisual sector was underlined by their adoption in yesterday's meeting of the Culture Council, of the Audiovisual Media Services without frontiers directive (see IP/07/706). This will modernise the rules for traditional and emerging audiovisual media services in response to technological change and gives more flexibility to European TV- and filmmakers to produce digital content thanks to more relaxed advertising rules. See also Presenting the new Audiovisual Media Services without frontiers Directive: Frequently asked questions

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24 May 2007

EU - Agreement expected on "Audiovisual Media Services without frontiers" Directive

(RAPID)
The EU "Education, Youth Affairs and Culture" Council will meet on 24-25 May 2007 in Brussels. For the audiovisual and media items on the agenda on 24 May, the Commission will be represented by Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Information Society and Media. At this Council, political agreement is expected on one of the priorities of the Commission and of the German Presidency: the Audiovisual Media Services without frontiers (AVMS) Directive.

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