AVMS Directive: To implement or not to implement? That is the question

There is no doubt that the likelihood of a “no-deal” Brexit continues to grow. Against this backdrop, the UK Government has issued a Consultation Document setting out its proposed approach to implementing legislative amendments to the EU’s Audiovisual Media Services Directive (“AVMSD“) into domestic law to modernise the framework for a digital age.

Despite the continuing uncertainty around the UK’s departure from the EU, the consultation lays the foundations for the UK to align national law with the updated AVMSD, at least in part, regardless of whether the UK is legally obliged to do so.

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From Paris With Love: Latest Brexit Twist for Audiovisual Media Services Industry


With just under 2 months to go before the UK is due to exit the EU and the possibility of a no-deal Brexit still looming, the UK audiovisual media services industry, the largest in the EU, was recently dealt a further blow; French President, Emmanuel Macron, confirmed that France will ensure the audiovisual media sector is excluded from any free trade agreement between the UK and the EU.

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Updates to AVMS Directive enter into force

As part of its Digital Single Market Strategy and following extensive consultation in 2015, in May 2016 the European Commission adopted new legislative amendments to the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (“AVMSD“). The proposals seek to modernise the Directive to reflect “market, consumption and technological changes”, largely arising from convergence between television and internet services and the increase in on-demand content consumption.

After a lengthy legislative process, the Council of the European Union formally adopted the AVMSD on 6 November 2018. The AVMSD was then published in the Official Journal of the European Union and entered into force on 19 December 2018. Member States now have 21 months to transpose it into national legislation (September 2020). Continue reading

Audiovisual Media Services: Council approval upgrades the EU framework for a digital age

On 6 November 2018, the Council of the European Union formally adopted a new directive revising the existing Audiovisual Media Services Directive (2010/13/EU) (“AVMSD”). This is the final stage in the lengthy legislative process and the new directive will enter into force on the 20th day after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU. Member states will have 21 months to transpose it into national legislation (likely to be around August 2020).

The existing directive on the provision of audiovisual media services dates back to 2010. The market has developed significantly since then; fast paced technological advances arising from the convergence between television and internet services have led to new types of services and changes in viewing habits (particularly an increase in on-demand content consumption). User-generated content has also gained in importance. The legislative amendments seek to reflect these market developments. Continue reading

Audiovisual media services: Back to the 80’s?!

On 19 March 2018, the European Commission published a notice to stakeholders on the consequences of Brexit for audiovisual media services. This makes it clear that, subject to any transitional arrangement, as of the withdrawal date, the EU rules in the field of audiovisual media services will no longer apply to the UK. Therefore, in summary, UK-based broadcasters would be left relying on laws written in the 1980s. Continue reading