Broadcast Projects hosted a lunch event sponsored by Microsoft on 19 May 2011 in London. The topic was be implementation of the Audio Visual Media Services Directive in in the UK. A second event on this theme will be held in mid-to-late July.
The Directive, which replaced the Television without Frontiers Directive of 1989, was adopted in December 2007 with the intention of bringing the EU’s broadcasting rules up to speed with the digital age.
Audio Visual Services have traditionally been delivered by broadcast and cable networks, which are covered by extensive regulation. The internet has been relatively lightly regulated. Therefore politicians began to update the EU regulatory framework to cover the public´s increasing consumption of content over the internet.
¨Television Without Frontiers”, only covered broadcasting. But AVMS specifically extends regulation to on-demand services, which had never been regulated before. The aim of AVMS therefore has been to reduce regulation and create a level-playing field for audio visual media services across borders while maintaining high standards for consumer protection.
The intention of AVMS is to bring a set of ‘minimum content standards’ to on-demand services, and to bring in line these services with current broadcasting legislation.
This new law, which came into force early in 2010, is the subject of intense ongoing debate in the UK, which is the only European country to have adopted a co-regulatory system, with ATVOD having been appointed as co-regulator, with Ofcom retaining back-stop powers.
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