The Italian Communications Authority (Autorità per le garanzie nelle comunicazioni, “Agcom”) has recently planned out a bundle of resolutions concerning the changes in the broadcasting and television landscape and their impact on the existing regulations.
The first resolution marks the end of the survey Televisione 2.0 nell’era della convergenza (“TV 2.0 in a convergence scenario”) on the adequacy of the Italian regulation with regard to the evolution of the television and new media technologies’ fields. As per the survey, the current regulations, providing different sets of rules according to whether the television contents are provided in linear distribution or on demand, belong to the past. A strong regulatory asymmetry exists between “traditional television” and the new ways of distribution of television contents via the Internet and a revision of the existing legal framework is certainly needed in order to provide common rules (For instance, stringent restrictions exist for broadcast TV in relation to children protection, television advertising and programming and investments in European works by independent producers, while the same rules are less restrictive for the providers of television contents via the Internet, such as OTT operators).
Other resolutions adopted by AGCOM concern the launch of a cognitive survey on the European and independent television production. The current regulation – which provides that television broadcasters shall reserve a certain percentage of its transmission time and annual net income to European audiovisual works created by independent producers – seems to be excessively binding for broadcasters and no longer in compliance with new technologies and the evolution of the market. The purpose of the investigation is to evaluate whether the legislation should be revised and how.
In addition to these initiatives, AGCOM announced its intention to rationalize all the regulations implemented since 2009 in the field of audiovisual services by creating a unified Code. The draft of the Code will be submitted to public consultation with the intervention of the main players of the market.