Commercial TV reacts to new EU Green Paper on Audiovisual Convergence

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Brussels, 24 April 2013 – European commercial broadcasters today welcomed the publication of a European Commission Green Paper on Preparing for a Fully Converged Audiovisual World.

Speaking in Brussels, Ross Biggam, Director-General of the Association of Commercial Television, commented that:
European media has changed radically since 2007, when the AVMS directive was negotiated, and beyond all recognition since 1989, the date from which many EU regulatory provisions originate. A review of European policy is therefore timely.

We welcome the publication of this GP on two conditions. First, the paper should kick-start an ambitious, global discussion focussing on the future of European broadcast media and content production. There is evidence in the Green Paper that the Commission shares our view that a clear vision is needed from the EU, rather than more debates focussing on detailed quantitative micro-management of the media business.

Secondly, this strategic vision needs to focus rigorously on the production and financing of content – the programmes which viewers love to watch on TV and, increasingly, on other devices and at different times. Continuing excellence and innovation in the content business – news, movies, sport, entertainment or drama – will be the key to future growth in the audiovisual sector.

The Commission is correct in its analysis that viewers’ consumption of linear television continues to increase (and recent data from the European Audiovisual Observatory confirms that the European sector is also commercially sustainable).

Inevitably, the Green Paper’s 27 questions range far and wide, and cover many areas where regulatory intervention is not appropriate. We will respond in due course to the detailed questions and look forward to the continuation of the debate.