Bavarian media authority BLM has granted Turner Broadcasting System Deutschland and NBC Universal Global Networks Deutschland broadcast licenses for six international TV channels each.
Turner Broadcasting received licenses for TCM (Ireland/Malta), TCM (Greece), TCM (France), WBTV (France), TNT (Poland) and TNT (Romania) while NBC Universal was awarded licences for Syfy, E! Entertainment (2x), 13 Ulica, SCIFI and DIVA. The licences for the 12 channels – all of them pay-TV services – are subject to approval by German anti-media concentration commission ZAK.
As licences issued by UK-based media authority Ofcom can no longer serve as a legal basis for broadcasting in Europe once the UK has left the EU (Brexit), Turner Broadcasting and NBC Universal applied for new permissions at BLM, according to the media authority.
Even though the channels are not broadcasting in Germany, but in other EU member states, BLM is still responsible: The head offices of both applicants are based in Munich, Bavaria, and the editorial decisions about their programmes are also made here. According to the BLM, both companies are planning to create new jobs in Munich when starting operations under a German licence.
“For Bavaria, the new licences further strengthen the location, while for the companies they mean legal security,” said BLM president Siegfried Schneider.
The background of the licence applications from Turner Broadcasting and NBC Universal is that the country of origin principle stipulated in the EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive will no longer apply to UK-based media companies with the expected Brexit.
For EU member states, the ruling stays in place: If a media company has a broadcast licence in a European country, the broadcaster’s channel may also be legally broadcast in the other EU member states.