ACT Response to the Public Consultation on the review of the EU copyright rules

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Online distribution is a great opportunity for commercial broadcasters and our sector has long understood the imperative to diversify our business models. Without exception, European media groups are enthusiastically launching new services, seeking out new revenue streams and enhancing the existing offer to consumers. We highlighted a number of these initiatives in a brochure published in 2011, “Content and Consumers”’, and our members’ online offers have continued to dramatically increase ever since. Consumers today can enjoy films and television in more ways, on more devices and at better quality than ever before. There are now over 3000 on-demand audiovisual services available in Europe, compared to fewer than 700 at the end of 2008. All this growth has been realised in parallel to the continued strength of linear, scheduled television services.

Far from presenting barriers to these new innovative services, the robust but flexible European copyright acquis underpins all these services, whether offline or online, broadcast, catch-up, streamed or on-demand. As such, respect for copyright is the foundation stone not just of the European television industry, an €84.4bn sector in our own right, but also of the wider creative content industry. According to a recent OHIM Observatory Study copyright intensive industries account for 4.2% of EU GDP and 3.2% of EU jobs.

Without a strong copyright law, commercial operators would have no incentive to reinvest in the next season of creative, journalistic and sporting content. Indeed, according to a previous study carried out for the European Commission, 44% of total European broadcasting revenues were reinvested into content. For the main commercial broadcasting groups this investment amounts to over €15 billion a year or €41 million a day.