MEPs harmonise media rules for TV and internet
The update of the old Audiovisual Services Directive will further harmonise the rules for classical television and the rising online media platforms. "The usage behaviour has fundamentally changed. Nearly one quarter of internet users stream music or films on the internet. Therefore it is of the utmost importance that we adapt the rules for traditional television to the internet to bring the media world into the 21st century", said Sabine Verheyen MEP, the EPP Group's Rapporteur of the revision of the Audiovisual Media Directive (AVMD), after today's vote in Parliament's Committee on Culture and Education.
Rules for advertisement regulation are a sticking point between the Commission's proposal and the Committee Report. While the Commission proposed a daily maximum of 20 percent advertising without an hourly limit, the Culture Committee supports the idea of limiting advertising during the so-called primetime: "It is our main goal to protect our consumers against excessive advertising during peak viewing hours", warned Verheyen, who is also the EPP Group’s Spokeswoman in the Committee on Culture and Education.
Further core areas of the AVMD revision are youth protection, consumer protection and the accessibility of disabled people to audiovisual media services. "We have to make sure that we apply similar rules to similar services, be they delivered by linear television or via the internet, in order to protect the young users in particular. Therefore, commercial communication like advertising, sponsoring or product placement has to be made recognisable and distinguishable from other content", said the MEP.
"Worthy of discussion is a binding quota of 20 percent of European Productions for Video on Demand platforms. Many Video on Demand platforms already fulfil a quota of over 20 percent, but this percentage should be increased", explained Verheyen. "We have an enormous cultural diversity in Europe, especially in the film sector. We must support our creativity in Europe and give it a fair chance to develop and flourish, given the fact that they compete with mass content from big production houses often located outside Europe." The Committee therefore voted today in favour of a binding quota of at least 30 percent.