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Brussels, 22 August 2006

European works’ share of TV broadcasting time now stable at over 60%, says Commission

Europe's television broadcasters on average devote over 60% of their programming time to European works and over 30% to works by independent European producers, says the European Commission in its seventh progress report on the promotion of European works (2003-2004), issued today. Broadcasters in the new EU Member States show as much European content as those in the EU-15, demonstrating the public popularity of European content and, in some countries, the effectiveness of promotional measures taken in accordance with the EU "Television without Frontiers" Directive.

“I welcome in particular the fact that broadcasters in the new EU Member States are giving now as much air time to European works as those in the EU 15, and even slightly more to the those made by independent producers, said Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding. “This is proof of the high quality of Europe's home-grown audiovisual content and of the vitality of an audiovisual industry that draws upon Europe's rich cultural diversity. I am firmly convinced that new media services such as mobile TV and video-on-demand will stimulate and enhance the market for rich European content offers even further.”

Articles 4 and 5 of the "Television without Frontiers" (TVwF) Directive deal with the promotion of the broadcasting of European works, including those created by producers independent from the broadcasters.The new Commission Communication on the implementation of these provisions in the 25 EU Member States, adopted by the Commission today, says that the EU-wide average broadcasting time for European works was 65.18% in 2003 and 63.32% in 2004. The Commission report also shows that in the medium term, the broadcasting of European works has stabilised at above 60%. Average transmission times varied between 52.75% in Ireland and 86.20% in Denmark in 2003 and between 49.12% in the Czech Republic and 86.33% in Denmark in 2004. These shares were comparable with those recorded for the previous reporting period 2001-2002 (see IP/04/998).

The average share of independent producers’ works broadcast by all European channels in all Member States rose from 31.39% in 2003 to 31.50% in 2004. This is well above the 10% set by the TVwF Directive. The average proportion varied, depending on the Member State concerned, between 15.81% (Denmark) and 44.95% (Austria) in 2003 and 16.24% (Slovenia) and 46.38% (Austria) in 2004.

For recent European works by independent producers, that is to say works broadcast within five years of their production, transmission time in 2001-2004 was constantly above 20% (21.77% in 2004), which corresponds to approximately 2/3 of all works by independent producers.


Article 4 of the “Television without Frontiers” Directive, which was adopted in 1989 and amended in 1997, calls upon the Member States to ensure, where practicable and by appropriate means, that broadcasters within their jurisdiction reserve the majority of their transmission time for European works.

Article 5 calls upon the Member States to ensure, where practicable and by appropriate means, that broadcasters reserve at least 10% of their broadcasting time or programming budget to European works, particularly recent ones, created by producers who are independent from broadcasters. This excludes time devoted to news, sports events, games, advertising and tele-shopping services.

On the basis of reports forwarded by the Member States, the European Commission reports every two years on the application of these provisions in the Member States. The Communication adopted today is the Commission's seventh bi-annual report and covers, for the first time, the EU-25 for the post-accession period.

The Commission proposal of December 2005 to modernise the Television without Frontiers Directive (see IP/05/1573) leaves Article 4 and 5 of the Directive untouched. The Commission decided not to extend these provisions to non-linear audiovisual media services in view of the nascent character of these services and their different nature if compared to traditional TV. The Commission proposal is currently in first reading in the European Parliament and in the Council of Ministers.
The text of the Communication and further information are available at:


[ Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED ]

EW European works (in relation to total qualifying transmission time)

IP European works made by independent producers (in relation to total qualifying transmission time )

RW (% of IP) Recent European works by independent producers (in relation to European works by independent producers)

RW Recent European works by independent producers (in relation to total qualifying transmission time).

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