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New rules for audiovisual media services approved by European Parliament

By Will Thorman

On Tuesday, 2 October 2018, the European Parliament voted to update rules on audiovisual media services, including the introduction of a quota on European content, stricter rules on advertising, and enhanced protection of children.

The revised legislation will apply to broadcasters, but also to video-on-demand and video-sharing platforms (including live streaming).

Providers of such audiovisual media services will have to:

  • ensure that at least 30% of their catalogues are made of up European content (although there are exemptions to this);
  • take appropriate measures against content inciting violence, hatred and terrorism, including reacting quickly when content is reported as harmful, and may even be required  to create effective mechanisms to allow users to report or such content;
  • comply with strict rules on broadcasting advertising and product placement in children’s TV programmes; and
  • ensure that personal data about children which they collect are not processed for commercial use.

The new legislation could also require such platforms to help finance European films and TV, either by investing directly in content or by contributing to national funds.

Next steps

The legislation still needs to be formally approved by the European Council before it comes in to force, and Member States will then have 21 months to incorporate the new rules into national legislation.