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Internet broadcasting – public consultation - 25/04/2013

Video streaming over the internet has given people more choice of TV programmes and movies – we need your thoughts on an EU approach so everyone can benefit.

More and more people are opting to watch programmes and films on their internet-connected TVs, desktop computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones and gaming consoles. That way, they can watch what they want, when they want, where they want.

But traditional broadcasters say they are at an unfair advantage, arguing that internet broadcasters are not subject to the same rules and regulatory oversight.

The Commission recognises there is a problem. A common EU approach is needed – one that also helps provide consumers with better services and more choice at fair prices.

Before making proposals, the Commission is asking for your opinion, through a public consultation – “Preparing for a fully converged audiovisual world: growth, creation and values”. You have until the end of August 2013 to comment on the questions in the discussion paper DeutschEnglishfrançais, which outlines the issues for consideration. These include:

  • helping EU broadcasters become more competitive with international companies (especially those based in the US)
  • upholding European values and principles – media freedom, protecting children, accessibility for users with disabilities, etc.
  • promoting common standards so users can access digital broadcasts and audiovisual content from anywhere in the EU
  • financing of films, TV shows and other audiovisual content
  • public regulation to foster an open and diverse broadcasting industry.

The move to internet broadcasting is already being discussed in several EU countries and the European Parliament.

The various debates could result in a patchwork of different rules across the EU, dampening market growth and not providing consumers with the best possible access.

This is why it makes sense to have a common EU policy in place soon. The Commission does not favour any specific option right now, but will consider all possibilities before making its proposals. One option is to update EU rules on audiovisual services.

In parallel the Commission has also recently launched related public consultations – one on media freedom and pluralism English, another on the independence of national regulators English for the audiovisual sector. The deadline for commenting on these ends on 14 June 2013.

More on audiovisual services

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