Overview

The Rio 2016 Summer Olympics have been dominating the headlines worldwide for a number of reasons, ranging from broadcasting options, including virtual reality, through to doping accusations. Some of these issues are as yet unresolved, but what we do know is that the games will provide a spectacular month of sports viewing, whichever nation you're rooting for.

This month’s edition of MSE Intelligence focuses on proposed changes to TV and media rights in Europe, as well as some interesting changes to betting laws in South Australia.

Media and broadcasting

The European Commission presented its upcoming changes to the new Audio Visual Service Directive leading to less restrictive rules regarding advertisement in TV. For example, channels shall have more autonomy in deciding when and how often they broadcast advertisements, as long as they do not exceed the overall limit of 20 percent advertising content. There shall also be more freedom in the use of product placements and sponsoring, provided that viewers are informed accordingly. Changes shall further comprise a more effective control of video platforms like YouTube as well as a quota for on-demand and streaming services of at least 20 per cent content to be produced in the EU.

In Italy, a new channel line-up for digital terrestrial television is expected that will create significant business opportunities, especially for newcomers. In fact, certain positions on the channel line-up are likely to be reserved for such operators by the public authorities. Italy is also discussing a brand-new proposal reforming broadcasting rights on sports events. The bill aims to develop competition in the relevant markets, opening the acquisition of such rights to publishers / aggregators that might not necessarily have authorisations in order to broadcast on traditional platforms (digital terrestrial television and satellite). Internet-based operators could compete in the tender procedures, given the light administrative procedures currently in place for on-demand content providers. Furthermore, the duty to broadcast at least one match of the Italian Serie A free-to-air is under discussion.

In Australia, Ernst & Young's latest Internet of Things report highlights that the majority of Australians still watch free-to-air TV more than legal and illegal streaming. The report forecasts a time when consumers put so much personal information online that advertisers are able to select what mood they want to target in consumers. "If smart devices provide useful data ... that is perceived as non-intrusive and the resulting content experience correctly interprets consumers' current readings (mood, need, intention) ... the implications for improved brand loyalty could be vast," the report says.

With reference to football audiovisual rights, the Italian Competition Authority imposed huge fines on operators (Football League Association, advisors and broadcasters) for agreements restricting competition in the relevant markets (both traditional media and online). The new tender procedure for the allocation of audiovisual rights for seasons 2018-2019, 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 will launch shortly. For more news on the impact of the fines and the tender procedure, please follow our blog.

Gaming

In Australia, the state of South Australia will become the first Australian jurisdiction to introduce a place-of-consumption tax of 15 per cent on the net wagering revenue (NWR) of betting companies offering services to South Australia, effective from July 1, 2017. All bets placed in South Australia with Australian-based betting companies will be liable for the tax. The place-of-consumption tax will apply to a whole host of sports, as well as entertainment, such as the Academy Awards, and political elections. Based on 2014-15 data, the wagering tax is expected to raise AUD$9.2 million each year in new revenue. Of that, AUD$500,000 will be contributed annually to the Gamblers Rehabilitation Fund, the first time that the betting industry has contributed to the fund.

MSE blog updates

These are the most popular of the new posts on our Media, Sport and Entertainment blog: