Broadcasters Regulation – Audiovisual Sector Open Letter in support of the JURI mandate

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Open letter to Members of the European Parliament on behalf of Europe’s creative sectors in support of the JURI mandate on the Broadcasting (SatCab) Regulation

Dear Member of the European Parliament,

We call on you to SUPPORT the JURI Committee SatCab Mandate.

EU citizens deserve the widest choice of high quality European film and TV

We urge you to vote in favour of the JURI mandate as the European Parliament’s negotiating position on the Broadcasting (SatCab) Regulation at Plenary next week.  Confirming the JURI mandate, and thus the European Parliament position, will ensure that European citizens can continue to enjoy a wide range of films and audio-visual content of the highest quality across a broad spectrum of platforms and services.

Recent attempts to challenge the JURI mandate dismiss well-founded concerns, which have been considered in all responsible committees of the European Parliament, and which are reflected in the final position of the leading Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI). Attempts to downplay the significant negative impact of the proposed Regulation on the European audio-visual sector lead us to write again to Members of the European Parliament to provide a contribution from the companies and people directly targeted by the legislation.

The JURI mandate has the support of the vast majority of the European audio-visual sector.  It will benefit European citizens because it safeguards:

  • maximum investment in the highest quality original EU content most enjoyed by viewers,
  • affordable prices in different Member States and diverse local content on local platforms to suit tastes in different regions and linguistic minorities within Member States,
  • strong national film/TV production and distribution sectors with high levels of employment and the continuation of a vital contribution to local and EU economies.

We support a high quality and diversity of audio-visual content in Europe

Across the film, television and audiovisual/sport – and wider creative sectors – in Europe, we all share the same fundamental aim of delivering the most culturally and linguistically diverse content.

We support making it easier for Europeans to watch their favourite films, TV shows and sports content across the EU

When citizens move freely around Europe for business or pleasure, they should be able to continue to view online content and services which they have already paid to access in their country of residence.   The Portability Regulation will ensure that online access from April next year.  This will satisfy the overwhelming majority of the demand for access to content across borders in Europe.  It is a major achievement of the European Parliament and the Council. 

There are no practical copyright problems if we want to make content available across borders

Some have alleged that it is too complicated to obtain licences for copyright and associated rights to make content available online across borders.  They say we need to re-open the JURI mandate and extend the “country of origin principle” to address unsubstantiated problems.  The current system already allows for multi-territory licences through a “one stop shop” principle and flexibility, when there is demand. The European Commission’s 2015 Eurobarometer report found that only 5% of Internet users tried to access audio-visual content through online services meant for users in other Member States, while nine out of ten respondents said that they were able to find the content they are looking for online.

We also support the territoriality of copyright and the commercial freedom to agree territorial exclusivity.  Undermining this risks lowering quality and diversity of content

Extending cross border access beyond the Portability Regulation through the Broadcasting (SatCab) Regulation would be a serious mistake. Recent research has confirmed that the resulting erosion of territorial exclusivity will lead to higher prices and less choice for consumers, reduced cultural and linguistic diversity, and lower quality content available through fewer big platforms.

We oppose the re-opening of the JURI Committee mandate

The Report is the conclusion of the democratic European Parliament decision-making process, which took all views into account and was adopted by a large majority of 15 votes in favour, with 8 votes against and 1 abstention.

Rejecting the mandate and re-opening the file to extend the scope of the proposal would be a spectacularly self-defeating move for Europe.  It would send a bad signal to Europe’s citizens and the audiovisual sector. To summarise, it would:

  • lead to less investment in content, and therefore less content would be available to European citizens, including linguistic minorities,
  • result in higher prices, less choice and reduced access for European citizens,
  • strike at the heart of territorial funding for the development, production and distribution of European creative content and sports content,
  • reduce investment and economic activity in the sector to the detriment of jobs and economic contributions at the national and EU level.

We therefore urge you to SUPPORT the JURI Mandate on the Broadcasting (SatCab) Regulation in the December Plenary (Rapporteur: T. Wölken, S&D). EU citizens deserve the widest choice of high quality European film and TV content delivered on the broadest possible range of platforms and services.

We thank you for your ongoing support and are available to meet at your convenience on this crucial topic.


ACT – Association of Commercial Television in Europe, Agnieszka Horak, Director of Legal and Public Affairs –

AKTV – Czech Association of Commercial Television, Jan Vlcek, President,

ARCA – Romanian Association for Audiovisual Communications, George Chirita,

BUNDESLIGA – Stefan Brost, Head of EU Office –

CEPI – European Coordination of Independent Producers, Elena Lai, Secretary General –

EUROCINEMA – Association de Producteurs de Cinéma et de Télévision, Yvon Thiec, General Delegate –

EUROPA DISTRIBUTION – European Network of Independent Film Distributors, Christine Eloy, General Manager –

FIAD – International Federation of Film Distributors Associations, Nikolas Moschakis, Secretary General –

FIAPF – International Federation of Film Producers Associations – YBP – Benoît Ginisty, Managing Director to FIAPF Headquarters,

F&MA/ WKO – Fachverband der Film- und Musikwirtschaft, Film and Music Austria, Dr. Müller Werner, President,

IFTA – Independent Film & Television Alliance, Jean Prewitt, CEO –

IVF – International Video Federation – Publishers of Audiovisual Content on Digital Media and Online, Charlotte Lund Thomsen, Legal Counsel –

LALIGA – The Spanish Football League Javier Tebas, President – contact: Laura Vilches­ –

MEDIAPRO – Jaume Roures, Legal Representative Mediaproducción S.L.U.,

MPA – Motion Picture Association, Stan McCoy, President and Managing Director MPA EMEA –

PREMIER LEAGUE – Mathieu Moreuil, Head of European Public Policy –

SPIO – Spitzenorganisation der Filmwirtschaft (Association of the German Film Industry), Alfred Holighaus, President –

UNIC – International Union of Cinemas, Laura Houlgatte, CEO –

VOEP – Association of Austrian Commercial Broadcasters, Corinna Drumm, Managing director –

VPRT – Association of Commercial Broadcasters and Audiovisual Services, Julia Maier-Hauff, Senior Counsel European Affairs –