The revision of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) was proposed by the Commission, and was the subject of intense negotiations between the co-legislators. The European Parliament adopted a report on the provision of audiovisual media services. The Council adopted the revised AVMSD in 2018, completing the legislative process. Member States had until September 2020 to transpose the AVMSD into their national legislation.
What is new in the revised AVMSD?
The revised AVMSD offers many new elements:
- A strengthened country of origin principle, with more clarity on which Member State's rules apply, aligned derogation procedures for TV broadcasters and on-demand service providers and possibilities for derogations in the event of public security concerns and serious risks to public health.
- An extension of certain audiovisual rules to video sharing platforms and social media services.
- Better protection of minors against harmful content in the online world, including strengthening protections on video-on-demand services.
- Reinforced protection of TV and video-on-demand against incitement to violence or hatred, and public provocation to commit terrorist offences.
- Increased obligations to promote European works for on-demand services.
- More flexibility in television advertising, allowing broadcasters to choose more freely when to show ads throughout the day. The overall limit is set at 20% of broadcasting time between 6:00 to 18:00 with the same share allowed during prime time (from 18:00 to midnight).
- Strengthened provisions to protect children from inappropriate audiovisual commercial communications. Video-sharing platforms also have to respect certain obligations for the commercial communications.
- Independence of audiovisual regulators.
The media landscape has shifted dramatically over the last ten years. Instead of sitting in front of the family TV, millions of Europeans now watch content online on different mobile devices.
The Commission proposed a revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive in May 2016 that included a new approach to online platforms disseminating audiovisual content. The EU's current Audiovisual Media Services Directive governs EU-wide coordination of national legislation on all audiovisual media.
The European Commission organised a public consultation to seek the views of all interested parties on how to make Europe's audiovisual media landscape fit for purpose in the digital age. The document is available in all EU languages.
To address other challenges to the functioning of the internal media market, the Commission presented a proposal for the European Media Freedom Act in September 2022. One of the proposed measures is the transformation of the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA) established under the AVMSD into a new European Board for Media Services.