Agreement has been reached between the European Parliament and Council on the new Audiovisual Media Services without frontiers Directive. The new framework will cover all audiovisual services and will replace the Television Without Frontiers directive when it comes into force towards the end of 2007.
“This important piece of modernising legislation brings Europe’s audiovisual policies into the 21st century, providing a welcome shot in the arm to industry,” said Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media. “It promises less regulation, better financing for European content and higher visibility to Europe’s key values, cultural diversity and the protection of minors.”
One of the key elements of the directive is the relaxation of advertising regulations that will allow for more product placement than under the present regime. The Commission has also held on to the country of origin principal, championed by the British authorities, with an eye on UK-based satellite broadcasters. Linear broadcasting has been included alongside emerging delivery mechanisms such as video on demand.