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The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has welcomed the European Commission’s strategy to create a Digital Single Market (DSM) between European Union member states.
For EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre, the recognition of digital content as a key factor for a Digital Single Market is crucial, reflecting the dynamic relationship between content and networks: “Citizens must be able to access content services on an affordable, universal and non-discriminatory basis. Audio-visual and content services should drive demand and digital innovation, nourish the EU’s cultural and creative industries and, in turn, build audiences for high quality and original programming,” she declared.
“I also believe that the EBU, with its broad membership of public service media organisations across Europe, has a major part to play in realising these objectives,” she concluded.
Europe’s public service media organisations invest approximately €20 billion in content and predominantly air domestic and European content. By distributing their broad offer of programmes on all relevant platforms, they make a major contribution to the digital economy and society.
The EBU welcomes the Commission’s plan to propose copyright modernisation measures by the end of 2015 (see separate story). A technologically-neutral application of the cable and satellite licensing solutions to the online world will allow Public Service Media organisations to increase the availability of their online content and services for EU audiences, without reducing the contractual flexibility for the clearance of rights or to put the funding of original EU production at risk.
The intentions to examine more closely the role played by platforms and digital intermediaries in giving access to audio-visual content is also a welcome step forward.
Additionally, the EBU welcomes the need to accommodate the specific needs of audio-visual media distribution and urges the Commission to build on the important recommendations by Pascal Lamy following the High Level Group on Spectrum. These clearly linked spectrum allocation for Digital Terrestrial Television with the value generated by employment in the creative and cultural sectors, media pluralism and diversity and the reality of how content is accessed; 250 million Europeans rely on terrestrial transmission to watch TV.
The EBU also hopes that a clear and strong net neutrality framework for Europe will be part of the Commission’s strategy. Innovation, economic efficiency and media freedom and pluralism hinge upon clear and strong rules.
It is estimated that the European audio-visual sector generates an annual turnover of around €130 billion. More than seven million people are employed in the cultural and creative industries which, in turn, generate more than 4.2 per cent of the EU’s GDP. Europe’s public service media organisations invest approximately €20 billion in content and predominantly air domestic and European content.