The EBU has welcomed a vote in the European Parliament vote that will update existing must-carry rules and provide for a wider choice of free-to-air radio content while on the move.
The vote in the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) formally endorsed a political deal in trilogue on a new EU Electronic Communications Code.
The Code supports the transition towards digital radio, opening up new opportunities for broadcasters and audiences, as occurred with TV in the past. It introduces new provisions requiring radio sets integrated in new passenger cars in the EU to at least be capable of digital terrestrial radio reception.
The EBU also welcomes improvements to existing must-carry rules. In the interest of media pluralism and cultural diversity, the new provisions will update existing rules to include the connected TV experience, reflecting evolving audience habits and the full range of innovative services on offer.
“What matters most is that citizens are able to access public service media as easily as possible from the wide range of distribution channels available to them,” declared Head of EU Regulatory Policy Wouter Gekiere. “The newly-agreed EU Code offers modernised rules to improve access by European users to media content through telecoms networks. Such improvements to the regulatory framework will contribute towards supporting media pluralism and cultural diversity in Europe. Ultimately, it will also encourage broadcasters to continue to develop more innovative radio services for EU audiences.”
The EBU calls upon regulators and governments to take a proactive role and use the tools provided by the new EU Electronic Communications Code to effectively ensure access to diverse media content across the EU. In this regard, the EBU applauds the new obligation on national regulators to ensure the implementation of media and cultural policies.
Following ITRE’s formal endorsement of the political deal reached in trilogue on a new Code, the Parliament’s plenary is expected to vote on this issue after the summer. The Code will update the existing telecommunications regulatory framework, dating from 2009.