On 2nd October 2018, the European Parliament formally adopted the revised Audiovisual Media Directive governing broadcasting within the European Union.
The proposal still needs to be formally approved by the Council of EU ministers. Following publication in the Official Journal (anticipated for November 2018), the Member States will have 21 months to transpose the new rules into national legislation which means that the rules will come into force by latest mid-2020.
Scope of the directive
The revised legislation will apply to broadcasters as well as video-on-demand and video-sharing platforms, such as Netflix, YouTube and Facebook, as well as to live streaming on video-sharing platforms. For teleshopping, the scope is therefore unchanged. Television broadcasting programmes are deemed to be all programmes provided for simultaneous viewing on the basis of a programme schedule.
Commercial Communication and Teleshopping Windows
As the AVMS Directive regulates all means of broadcasting and television including teleshopping, it is of economic importance for all of us.
The revised AVMS directive will bring a small liberalisation on commercial communication regulation also benefitting teleshopping providers. Minutage restriction on TV advertising will be liberalised and will facilitate the operation of teleshopping windows. Whereas commercial communication was limited to 20% per hour in the AVMS directive, the revision will introduce two windows in each of which the 20% calculation will apply.
The new rules impose a maximum 20% quota of advertising of the daily broadcasting period between 6.00 and 18.00, giving the broadcaster the flexibility to adjust their advertising periods. A prime-time window between 18:00 and 0:00 was also set out, during which advertising (including teleshopping windows) will only be allowed to take up a maximum of 20% of broadcasting time.
Cross-promotion of own services or services of an affiliated company as well as black seconds are not deemed to be commercial communication and therefore are excluded from this calculation. Teleshopping spots in children programmes will be prohibited.
Signal integrity and protection against overlays
The parliament also secured measures to ensure the integrity of the signal. It applies to smart TVs and means that the media service provider cannot add a window with content to the screen during a programme, without first having the agreement of the broadcaster.