What does the new directive cover?
All audiovisual media services intended for the public.
Broadly, it covers 2 types of service, with viewers having a different degree of choice and control in each: television broadcasts (linear) and on-demand services (non-linear).
What are "audiovisual media services"?
("on-demand") content selected by viewers over an electronic communications network (typically mobile devices or the internet) for watching at a time of their choice;
More specifically, such content is provided:
commercially (so not on private individuals' websites).
for the general public (so does not include any form of private correspondence).
as a programme (so does not include websites containing ancillary audiovisual elements such as graphical elements or short adverts).
under the editorial responsibility of a media service provider – meaning they control the selection and organisation of the programmes.
Official definition of audiovisual media services – Article 1(1)(a) of the directive.
What are television broadcasts ("linear services")?
Programmes provided by a media service provider at a scheduled time and watched simultaneously by viewers.
Official definition of broadcasts – Article 1(e) of the directive
Rules in the Directive that apply to TV broadcasts only:
Events of major importance and short news reporting (Chapter V)
Quotas for promotion and distribution of European television programmes (Chapter VI)
Time limits for TV advertising and teleshopping (Chapter VII)
Stricter rules on the protection of minors (Chapter VIII)
Right of reply (Chapter IX)
What are on-demand services ("non-linear")?
Programmes users select from a catalogue offered by the media service provider, to watch at their own convenience.
Official definition of on-demand services – Article 1(g) of the directive
Rules in the Directive that apply to on-demand services only (Chapter IV):
Protection of minors (Article 12)
General promotion and distribution of European works (Article 13)
Common rules for all audiovisual media services (Chapter III)
The new directive contains the following rules that apply to both TV broadcasts and on-demand content:
Encouraging co-regulation and self-regulatory regimes (Article 4 paragraph 7)
Identifying the media service provider (Article 5)
Incitement to hatred (Article 6)
Accessibility for people with disabilities (Article 7)
Transmission of cinematographic works (Article 8)
Sponsoring (Article 10)
Product Placement (Article 11)
Read more about: Audiovisuel Media Services directive - overview
“audiovisual media service” means:
(i) a service as defined by Articles 56 and 57 of the Treaty which is under the editorial responsibility of a media service provider and the principal purpose of which is the provision of programmes, in order to inform, entertain or educate, to the general public by electronic communications networks within the meaning of Article 2(a) of Directive 2002/21/EC. Such an audiovisual media service is either a television broadcast as defined in point (e) of this paragraph or an on-demand audiovisual media service as defined in point (g) of this paragraph;
(ii) audiovisual commercial communication;"
(e) “television broadcasting” or “television broadcast” (i.e. a linear audiovisual media service) means an audiovisual media service provided by a media service provider for simultaneous viewing of programmes on the basis of a programme schedule;
(g) “on-demand audiovisual media service” (i.e. a non-linear audiovisual media service) means an audiovisual media service provided by a media service provider for the viewing of programmes at the moment chosen by the user and at his individual request on the basis of a catalogue of programmes selected by the media service provider;"