Overview of the release windows system of films in Europe 24 May 22 Jerome Dheur

Cullen International has just published a latest benchmark on release windows in 11 European countries.

Rules on when a film can be commercially exploited outside of cinemas (release windows) vary from one member state to another. Depending on the country, the rules can be embedded in the law but more often, they are settled by commercial agreement.

According to the Audiovisual Media Service Directive (AVMSD), member states must ensure that audiovisual media service providers under their jurisdiction do not broadcast cinematographic works outside periods agreed with rights holders.

The analysis shows a global trend across Europe towards windows that are getting closer to the initial release in cinemas, especially with the emergence of subscription video on demand (s-VOD) services. On average, in the 11 countries surveyed, windows for s-VOD vary between 4 and 7 months (except in France and Poland).

It also shows that only one country (France) has legislative provisions on release windows, while Croatia, Finland, Poland, Sweden and the UK exclusively rely on this to be settled by the industry (i.e. contract).

In the other countries, although windows are predominantly settled by contract, rules exist which may also require the application of release windows to films that have received financial subsidies from public authorities.

For more information and to access the full benchlmark, please click on “Access the full content” - or on “Request Access”, in case you are not subscribed to our European Media service.


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