ACT: ‘Free market yes, broadcasters regulation no’

The Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT) congratulates the Commission as the DSM strategy reaches half-way point – with significant achievements including the Portability Regulation. This is an important opportunity for commercial broadcasters to reaffirm some principles that are key to maintaining a vibrant media in the EU that delivers for citizens and consumers, supports one million European Audiovisual (AV) jobs and a €93 billion annual contribution to the EU economy.

The Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT) welcomes this opportunity to recap its top line views and messages on some of the key legislative dossiers.

Value Gap. Stay strong, keep minding the Gap. ACT is a supporter of the Commission’s value gap proposals as a first step to ensuring the fair treatment of audio visual content providers. The Commission has found the right initial approach towards clarifying the role and responsibility of online intermediaries We are however concerned that this resolve may be tested as pressure builds, and at the same time, more needs to be done to ensure a safer online environment for all.

AVMS. Stick to your objectives. As negotiations move towards trilogue we encourage the Commission to keep with its original objectives of an ambitious liberalisation reflecting a radically changing market, whilst preserving a vibrant internal EU market. It is vital that Europe’s AV industry be able to compete effectively in a changing and converging media landscape, to the ultimate benefit of audiences. This review is also about maintaining the benefits of the Single Market, not placing new barriers on European broadcasters and services. Such an approach will allow Europeans to continue to access thousands of channels and customised VoD services; and broadcasters to fund production of local content, news and children programmes.

IPRED. Show me the policy direction. Piracy is an ongoing drain on the AV economy, and the safety and security of the online environment is more relevant than ever. The sector has for years been calling for new approaches to boost the effectiveness of current enforcement measures, and new ones fit for the digital age. The window of opportunity for new legislative measures is closing and with it an opportunity to address a major challenge to our creative capital.

Broadcasters Regulation (“SatCab”). Time to reconsider. As one of over 410 signatories of the letter recently addressed to the President of the Council by representatives of the AV economy across Europe, we continue to call on the Commission to fundamentally reconsider this proposal, given its lack of objective justification and the negative impact it would have on supply of TV content, jobs and growth in the EU.  We would draw particular attention to the joint Franco-Italian declaration of 2 May and Franco-Spanish declaration dated 20 February that openly question the approach taken.   There is a real need to think again about this proposal in the interests of the citizens and consumers of Europe.

Commenting on the present state of play, ACT Director General, Grégoire Polad, stated: “The DSM strategy holds much of the future of the creative and cultural sector in its hands. ACT members support a legislative agenda that helps us to continue to serve European citizens and consumers with the best possible content and to grow the creative economy at a key moment in time, enhancing and not destroying incentives for investment in original EU content. We look to the second half of this Commission for approaches that support and empower Europe’s creative sectors.”

The private broadcasting community is and will continue to be a supportive partner of the Commission’s jobs and growth agenda. In parallel, we are also fundamentally attached to the notions of investment in AV, media pluralism and cultural diversity that underpin our members’ role in European society and economies.

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