The continuing uncertainty presents a challenge for many businesses, including those operating pan-European TV channels, the Association notices.
“This month, we have seen an announcement that Discovery Networks has applied for licences in the Netherlands, taking advantage of its existing large office in Amsterdam.
“Others are waiting to see what may develop over the coming weeks – and the AIB’s advice continues to be “don’t panic” as we think that whatever the outcome of UK political deliberations, there won’t be a sudden channel switch-off on 30 March – which would be contrary to the Council of Europe’s Transfrontier Television Directive and the EU’s commitment to freedom of expression.
“The AIB will continue to meet with broadcasters, regulators and governments as the date Britain leaves the EU draws closer.”
Broadband TV Views. Most international broadcasters, including Discovery, NBCUnivesal, Viacom, Fox and Turner Broadcasting, have taken measures to pre-empt any regulatory problems following a ‘no-deal Brexit’. Some seem to have taken a look-and-see attitude, including the BBC, which stands to lose distribution of its domestic channels in Ireland, Belgium and The Netherlands.
As the AIB and others point out,there are two international treaties that would prevent the described consequences of a ‘no-deal Brexit’: first and foremost the European Convention on Transfontier Television in EU countries that are Parties to this treaty. And in EU countries that are not a Party to this Convention, such as The Netherlands, Belgium, and Ireland, Article 10 of the European Convention for the protection of human rights (freedom to receive information) can be relied upon. Both treaties are of higher hierarchical order than an EU Directive.
It will be up to the national media authorities in these countries to decide if the channels under jeopardy can indeed continue to be retransmitted on cable and IPTV networks.