The European Union has approved the new look Television without Frontiers Directive agreed with Member States earlier this year. The revamped document makes a distinction between linear broadcasts and on demand services, allows the including of product placement in some programmes, and controversially establishes a “country of origin” principal where channels are transmitted from one member country to another.
Broadcasters must follow home country rules when making programmes even if the shows are then transmitted in other member states with different rules. The UK has increasingly become a haven for broadcasters from Scandinavia and Central and East Europe, beaming programmes by satellite into local DTH and cable packages.
Governments will be free to establish regimes stricter than the EU guidelines. It will then be left to the Commission to decide whether they break EU law.