New comparison between new and existing EU audiovisual rules 17 May 18

Cullen International has published a comparison between the current EU Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive and the new directive which was agreed by the European Parliament and the Council on 26 April 2018.

The institutions reached an agreement on most of the substantial provisions. The directive still needs to be formally adopted.

 The new directive will:

  • impose more rules on on-demand services established in the EU (e.g. Netflix) such as new quotas requirements on EU works, stronger obligations to protect minors, and some additional restrictions on alcohol advertising; 
  • cover video-sharing platforms. In particular it will require these platforms to take measures to protect minors from harmful content and to protect citizens from hate-speech, and to comply with rules (that apply to linear and on-demand services) to protect consumers against inappropriate or subliminal advertising;
  • replace the current advertising limit for linear broadcast services of 20% of a clock hour by a more flexible daily limit (also of 20%) applying between 7am to 6pm. In addition to the daily limit, it will add a limit of 20% from 6pm to 12pm (prime-time window). 

The core principles of the directive remain in place, i.e. minimum harmonisation and the country of origin principle. However, member states will be able to impose investment obligations for EU or national works or to levy taxes to fund national production on services (linear and on-demand) established in another member state but targeting their national audience, under certain conditions. 

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