European Broadcasters Calls on EU for More Freedom to Compete with Online Video

EUCommercial broadcasters gathered in the European Parliament yesterday to push the EU to make the rules on advertising fairer for commercial broadcasters. The EU is currently revising the ‘Audiovisual Media Services Directive’ (AVMSD) which regulates various facets of the EU media industry, but the broadcasters are primarily concerned with being able to compete on a level playing field with web native companies who are less burdened by regulations. The TV industry wants to see greater flexibility when it comes to rules on the number of ads they can show,  insertion, spots, product placement, sponsorship and promotional references.

Speaking to the conservative ECR group of the EU partliament (which includes Matteo Cardani, General Manager, Marketing & Ad Operations at Publitalia, Mediaset Group, told MEPs and Member State attachés, “The current AVMS provisions no longer grants a pro-competitive framework enabling European broadcasters to provide their services on an equal footing with other players in the online video market. There’s no need for more rules but, rather, rules flexible enough that we may compete effectively for advertising budgets and in turn finance the whole value chain that delivers original European content and thousands of jobs in the EU creative industries”.

Similarly, Lars-Eric Mann Sales Director Advertising Solutions at IP Germany added, “We need greater flexibility in the commercial communications rules for broadcasters in order to adapt to the ever-changing competitive media landscape. This is essential to ensure the continued production of high quality content in Europe”

“Today some of the leading voices in TV advertising delivered a clear message. Original European AV content is expensive. To continue being a motor of investment, commercial broadcasters need a fair framework that allows them to secure advertising spend from European and global brands. Doing so will ensure advertising money is reinvested in European jobs, growth and outstanding original European TV content”; stated Grégoire Polad, Director General of the Association of Commercial Television in Europe.

Hosting MEP Andrew Lewer (ECR, UK) took note and responded that “It is worth underlining that up to date, the AVMSD has largely struck the right balance, serving citizens and businesses well. While maintaining the Country of Origin Principle and safeguarding the protection of minors, it is my view that we should not make change for changes sake. And where we do make changes, they must be evidence-based, offer legal clarity, and avoid unintended consequences”.

Gary Knight, ITV Commercial Content Director said,“we should look ahead and do all we can to modernise the historic regulatory regime for TV to ensure that TV companies can continue to compete effectively and invest at scale in the original European content that audiences love in an era of global digital competition”.

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