On 25 May 2016 the Commission presented a legislative proposal to amend the Directive on the audiovisual media services. The revision intends to provide rules fitting the new technological developments in the audiovisual market, taking into consideration the new players, such as the video-sharing platforms, and the different consumer habits, which are progressively turning to the online world.
The proposal retains the so-called ‘country of origin principle’, which consents broadcasters and on-demand service providers to only abide by the rules of the country where they are established in, instead of 28 different national legislations. Its functioning will be facilitated by a simplification of the rules that allow Member States to identify who has jurisdiction over a certain provider and by the provision of a unique procedure to derogate to the country of origin principle.
The text proposes more flexibility regarding the allocation of advertisement troughout the day. In fact, broadcasters will still need to comply with the overall limit of 20% of advertisementbetween 7am and 11pm, but instead of 20% per hour, they will be able to decide with more flexibility how to allocate it throughout the day.
The Commission also suggests an alignment between TV broadcasters and on-demand service providers concerning their obligation to protect minors from harmful content, to be achieved through the provision of a softer protection by the former and an increased protection by the latter.
In the same direction, the Commission proposes new obligations for video-sharing platforms that organise and tag a large quantity of videos. These will be required to protect minors from harmful content, such as violence and pornography, and all citizens from incitement to hatred through the provision of tools for users to flag dangerous content or verify users’age.
Finally, in relation to broadcasters’ investments in European content, the proposal keeps the existing rules for TV broadcasters, while it requireson demand services to ensure at least 20% share of European content in their catalogues. Moreover, Member States may ask on-demand services available in their territory to contribute financially to European works.