Brussels, 25 July 2008
More than 63% of Europe's television broadcasters' programming time is devoted to European works and over 36% to works by independent European producers. These new figures come from the European Commission's eighth report on effectiveness of EU rules on the promotion of European works, which covers the period 2005-2006. This report which is published every two years is based on information provided by the EU Member States and monitors the promotion of European works on European TV screens under the 'Television without Frontiers' Directive. For the first time, broadcasters in the new EU-10 Member States are fully analysed in this report, and the report shows that they show today as much European content as those in the EU-15.
“Today's figures demonstrate the vitality of the EU audiovisual industry and the equal commitment of all EU Member States (old and new) to cultural diversity. With the application of the 'Television without Frontiers' Directive, the EU and the Member States are proving their commitment to cultural diversity, which continues to benefit from the major presence of European programming on European TV," said Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding. “Of course, our audiovisual industry will need to continue its efforts with the new Audiovisual Media Services Directive of 2007 and offer rich and innovative European content for the take-up of new media services such as mobile TV and video-on-demand, which can in turn boost European content and culture in general.”
Today's figures show the impact of Articles 4 and 5 of the "Television without Frontiers" Directive, which aim at promoting the broadcasting of European works, including those created by producers who are independent from the broadcasters. The European Commission proposed these measures in 1989 to bring the benefits of the single market to television viewers (in the form of greater choice) and to broadcasters and producers (a bigger audience for European programmes).
The new report on the implementation of these provisions in the 25 EU Member States, adopted by the Commission today, shows that the EU-wide average broadcasting time for European works has increased from 63.52% in 2005 to 65.05% in 2006. The Commission report also shows that in the medium term (2003-2006), the broadcasting of European works has stabilised at above 63%. Average transmission times varied between 47.31% in Slovenia and 81.14% in Denmark in 2005 and between 45.44% in Sweden and 81.07% in Poland in 2006. These shares were comparable with those recorded for the previous reporting period 2003-2004 (IP/06/1115).
The average share of independent producers’ works broadcast by all European channels in all Member States rose from 36.44% in 2005 to 37.59% in 2006. This is well above the 10% set by the "Television without Frontiers" Directive. This also means that in the medium term (2003-2006), the EU-wide broadcasting of European works by independent producers improved by 6.2 percentage points.
For recent European works by independent producers, that is to say works broadcast within five years of their production, transmission time in 2005-2006 was constantly above 25%. This confirms the positive trend in the scheduling of recent works, which increased by 2.59 percentage points over 2003-2006.
Article 4 of the “Television without Frontiers” Directive calls upon EU 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 EU 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 created by producers who are independent from broadcasters, particularly recent ones.
These provisions exclude time devoted to news, sports events, games, advertising, teletext and teleshopping services.
The new Directive on Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) entered into force on 19 December 2007 (IP/07/1809) but did not introduce any changes to Articles 4 and 5, which remain applicable to broadcasting services. In addition, Article 3i of the new Directive asks Member States to ensure that providers of on-demand audiovisual media services, promote, where practicable and by appropriate means, the production of and access to European works. This recognises the importance of promoting European works and cultural diversity via new media services, like video-on-demand. This can be done by various means, including through investments in the production and acquisition of rights to European works or by ensuring an adequate share or prominence of such works in video-on-demand catalogues.
EU Member States have until 19 December 2009 to incorporate the new provisions of the AVMS Directive into their national laws.
The European Commission closely monitors the implementation of the new Directive in all Member States and will ensure that the rules are properly put into practice in due time.
This year's report and more information are available at:
Development of main indicators from 2003-2006 at EU level
[ Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED ]
Main indicators for 2005-2006 by Member State (EU-25)
Bulgaria and Romania, which have been EU Member States since 1 January 2007, will be covered for the first time in the next report.