Advanced Television

COBA: ‘Parliament must avoid Brexit cliff edge’

December 4, 2018

By Colin Mann

Crashing out of the EU will create huge disruption for the UK’s international broadcasting sector, its workforce, and its suppliers, the Commercial Broadcasters Association, the industry body for multichannel broadcasters in the digital, cable and satellite television sector, and their on-demand services, has warned.

In the weeks prior to the UK hitting a cliff edge, the UK’s £1 billion international broadcasting sector will have no choice but to implement contingency plans in order to be able to still comply with EU law post-Brexit. Hundreds of UK-based channels that are received in EU countries will be forced to find alternative arrangements, including securing broadcast licences from regulators in the remaining EU Member States before the end of March, so that they will have legally valid EU broadcast licences once the UK is no longer part of the single market. This will entail restructuring their European operations to support those new licences and comply with EU law requirements.

“International broadcasters have faced huge uncertainty ever since the Referendum in 2016,” commented Adam Minns, COBA’s Executive Director. “The UK is Europe’s leading international broadcasting hub for good reason, and no broadcaster wants to restructure their operations. Some broadcasters have been forced to do so already, but many have waited until now before taking this immensely complex and difficult decision. The costs and uncertainty of a hurried relocation will be felt by businesses, their employees and the supply chain. COBA urges MPs to consider the importance of avoiding a cliff edge, whatever ultimate scenario they favour.”

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