Commercial Broadcasting and Video on Demand Services in Europe

The European commercial broadcasting and Video on Demand Services sector is a major success story and is a leading investor and job provider in Europe’s Cultural and Creative Industries.

ACT member companies finance, produce, promote and distribute content and services benefiting millions of Europeans across all platforms. We entertain and inform Europe’s households every day via thousands of channels, VoD and OTT services available across Europe. ACT believes that a healthy and sustainable commercial broadcasting and VOD sector plays a crucial role for Europe’s economy, society and culture.

We engage with the EU institutions to achieve a balanced and appropriate regulatory framework which will encourage further investment and growth in our sector. This will allow the commercial audiovisual industry to continue to do what we do best – getting great content to viewers.

What we do

  • We monitor policy developments at EU level and we provide our members with regulatory expertise. We share our insights and help to understand the possible implications for the audiovisual business. 
  • We partner with EU decision makers and engage in a constant dialogue while providing them with the first-hand expertise about our sector.
  • We are the reference point for knowledge on the European audiovisual industry. Via research, events, publications, position papers, we increase the understanding of our business and actively contribute to the process of policy making. 
  • We are a leading platform for our members to network and exchange ideas about latest policy developments and best practices in a fast-paced world of media to support the growth of our industry. 
  • We represent the industry at external public events, institutional working groups, EU and international organisations. We liaise with the European trade press and engage in social media to make sure that the voice of commercial broadcasters is heard.

A few words of history

The ACT was set up in 1989. Back then, there were fewer than 100 broadcasters in the then twelve Member States of the European Community. With the occasional exception, most European countries had only ended the state monopoly of television broadcasting in the mid-1980s. The ACT had five founder members. As commercial television models proved popular with viewers, so many new channels were launched and ACT membership grew quickly. Yet some of the key regulatory issues were already becoming apparent, with European rules adopted in 1989 for the first time on transfrontier television, advertising, programme quotas, and then separate rules negotiated for copyright in the early 90s.

(Brussels, 29 June 1989, Press conference announcing the launch of the ACT)

1989-2019: ACT Celebrates 30 years

On 18 November 2019, ACT celebrated its 30 years and launched the ACT Blueprint for EU Media policy 2019-2024. This Blueprint sets out our guiding thoughts for what European policy-makers need to focus on if they wish to maintain media plurality, quality news and cultural diversity in Europe. The call for action focuses on Robust, Responsible and Reliable policies that support the great contribution broadcasters bring to Europe’s economy, society and cultural diversity.