Cross-border TV and radio to be made available online

Written by Martin Banks on 21 December 2018 in News
News

Viewers will be able to watch news and current affairs programmes from across the EU online under new arrangements agreed by the Council and Parliament.

Photo Credit: Press Association


All radio productions will also be made available across borders under the new copyright rules, along with drama and other programmes that are wholly financed by the broadcaster. The regulations apply to live online broadcasts and catch-up services.

Sport programming is excluded, however, along with co-financed productions whose business model depends on them being sold to different broadcasters.

Conservative legal affairs spokesman Sajjad Karim has followed the agreement as shadow rapporteur and was present during Wednesday's negotiations.


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He says his amendments helped "improve the balance" between giving viewers greater access to programmes and protecting financing models without which many popular programmes would not be made.

Karim, a UK Tory deputy, said: "I am pleased that viewers and expats will now be able to watch news and current affairs programmes and listen to radio broadcasts when living abroad.

"I was delighted to have secured improvements to the final legislation which ensure broadcasters remain free to determine with broadcasters from other member states how to best reach viewers from other countries.”

“This will ensure high quality content can be enjoyed by viewers but without hampering the financing of the AV [audio-visual] sector, which often relies on financing from other member states broadcasters, which are in return given exclusive licenses for their territory.”

"I am pleased that viewers and expats will now be able to watch news and current affairs programmes and listen to radio broadcasts when living abroad” Sajjad Karim MEP

"This proposal builds on the portability regulation which entered into force in April and enables viewers to access their paid-for subscriptions to platforms including Netflix and the ITV Hub across the EU," Karim added.

The new rules will be introduced by member states within two years and the European Commission will subsequently conduct a review of their operation.

Parliament, meanwhile, has adopted both of its two opinions on the proposals for council directives on the corporate taxation of a significant digital presence and a Digital Services Tax (DST) by an overwhelming majority.

MEPs added to the list of services that qualify as taxable revenues the supply of “content on a digital interface such as video, audio, games, or text using a digital interface”, regardless of whether the content is owned by that entity or if it has acquired the rights to distribute it.

Online platforms selling digital content, such as Netflix, can therefore be taxed.

About the author

Martin Banks is a senior reporter at The Parliament Magazine

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