Measuring European Works

European Commission AVMS European Works Report Almost 65% of TV programmes shown in Member States are of EU origin, meeting the requirements of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive for both television and on-demand services. The majority of these European works however are domestic works – meaning TV stations and video on-demand services overwhelmingly prefer showing local, nationally created programmes; and the proportion of independent productions on television is declining.

The European Commission published its ¨First Report¨ on the promotion of European Works on TV and on-demand services in the EU on 26 September 2012. It looks at how Member States have complied with Articles 13, 16 and 17 of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMS) during 2009-2010, and is based on information contained in a study conducted by Attentional Ltd in December 2011 on the implementation of these provisions on the promotion of European Works, as well as input from Member States.

The report indicates that the average share of European works shown on EU TV channels had continued to increase, if only slightly (from 63.8% in 2009 to 64.3% in 2010), and that the majority threshold had been achieved in all Member States, except Ireland, Slovenia and the UK. The Commission is therefore asking these countries to step up and encourage their broadcasters to show more European Works.

Another finding is that independent productions have been decreasing steadily since 2006, and correspondingly the Commission has requested Member States to consider how this trend might be reversed. Another telling factor of the study is that of those works reported, only 8.1% of these were non-domestic, pointing to a significant tendency for the majority of works shown to have a domestic origin.

Article 13 of the Directive specifically relates to the promotion of European works in on-demand programme services. While Member States have flexibility as to the way in which they implement this obligation (see related story on the ATVOD plan for European Works for the period 2012-2015), in fact only a few Member States reported that they had defined specific promotion measures.

The report also cites the lack of uniformity across Member States in relation to Article 13 and the difficulty of drawing reliable conclusions, given the late implementation of AVMS in some countries, and the overall uneven development of the market for on-demand services. Nevertheless, the Commission considers that on-demand services are particularly relevant in the context of convergence and connected devices, and so they plan to analyse the best way to promote European works and engage soon in discussions with Member States.