The European Commission has sent a reasoned opinion to Belgium regarding its “must-carry” rules imposed on broadcasters. "Must-carry” rules require network operators, such as cable companies or telecommunications operators, to carry specified radio and television broadcast channels and services where a significant number of consumers use them as their principal means of receiving broadcasts. Under the EU Universal Service Directive, Member States may set clear and transparent “must-carry” rules for legitimate public policy reasons. In the view of the Commission, the procedures in Belgium for designating “must-carry” channels lack transparency and clarity. At present, network operators and broadcasters are uncertain about their obligations and rights under this regime. The Commission may refer Belgium to the European Court of Justice if Belgium’s provisions are not properly amended.
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Final warning to Belgium regarding broadcasting “must-carry” rules
- McDermott Will & Emery
- Patricia Armesto
- Belgium, European Union
- May 9 2008
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