EBU members meet Covid-19 content challenge
June 19, 2020
Twenty-five public service media organisations from the EBU Member community have responded to an urgent TV content appeal by providing over 200 TV programmes, amounting to 1,300 hours of content, for use by all public service broadcasters.
The EBU-facilitated appeal was launched following the disruption of production schedules and predictions of a crisis for the industry as a result of Covid-19. The EBU Member community has supplied rights-cleared programming across multiple genres, including drama, history, lifestyle, performing arts, education, and a range of programmes aimed at children. In the spirit of the emergency, there is no requirement for broadcasters to contribute content in order to access the programmes.
“The speed with which Members have responded to the appeal is exceptional,” stated Matthew Trustram, the EBU’s Head of TV. “As a result of their generosity, we have been able to make an impressive range of content available to wider audiences, plug gaps in schedules, and address that issue which all broadcasters dread – the potential for dead air. Our thanks to all our Members for their solidarity in these unprecedented times.”
“There is an Irish word, ‘Meitheal’, which perfectly expresses the idea of a practical, inter-dependent community,” noted Roger Childs, Senior Production Executive at RTÉ. “At its best, that is what the EBU is. As soon as lockdown measures started to be introduced, the EBU saw the likely impact of Covid-19 on production and future output across its 119 Members. With lightning speed, the scheme to share content freely was created and RTÉ was delighted to contribute significant amounts of fully cleared, high quality content. Soon, Irish audiences will also benefit from the richly diverse catalogue of other Members’ freely shared content.”
“One of the pillars of the EBU is facilitating content opportunities for Members and ensuring that more broadcasters have access to the great content being made across Europe – to the benefit of audiences everywhere,” suggested Jean Philip De Tender, EBU Media Director. “We never anticipated providing content in such challenging circumstances, but the collaboration, support and willingness of the Member community to join our appeal really underlines the values of public service media and all that we stand for.”
The contributors to the content sharing scheme are: RTVE (Spain); BBC (UK); BBC Alba (UK); HRT (Croatia); MTVA (Hungary); TG4 Teilifis (Ireland); KRO-NCRV (Netherlands); Rai (Italy); RTR (Russia); TRT (Turkey); BHRT (Bosnia & Herzegovina); VRT (Belgium); BNT (Bulgaria); RSI (Switzerland); RTS (Switzerland); SRF (Switzerland); Yle (Finland); Latvijas Televīzija (Latvia); RTÉ (Ireland); NHK (Japan); SVT (Sweden); Swedish Education Broadcasting Co (Sweden); Public Broadcasting Services Ltd (Malta); RTK (Kosovo); and Radiotelevizija Slovenija (Slovenia).