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The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) supports the idea of an ‘opt-in option’ for broadcasters to enable viewers to access free-to-view online services while travelling abroad with the EU. It welcomed moves by European Union member states to enable greater content portability during the recent EU Competitive Council meeting.
Nicola Frank EBU head of European affairs said: “We welcome the outcome of discussions because they have clarified how public service media organisations can offer access to their programmes to citizens who are travelling abroad in the EU. The possibility for EBU members who offer their online services without payment to opt-in to the portability system is the right way forward.”
The EBU also called for stronger action to enable content portability to online audiovisual services through the application of the licensing principles of the existing Satellite and Cable Directive to these services. The EC last week published proposals to allow consumers and companies to buy and sell products online across national boundaries, but stopped short of outlawing geo-blocking of audiovisual services. Instead, it noted that “facilitating the access to audiovisual services across borders is part of other initiatives under the Digital Single Market strategy.”