New rules on audiovisual media services will apply to broadcasters, and also to video-on-demand and video-sharing platforms
MEPs voted on updated rules on audiovisual media services covering children protection, stricter rules
on advertising, and a requirement 30% European content in video-on-demand.
Following the final vote on this agreement, the revised legislation will apply to broadcasters, but also to video-on-demand and video-sharing platforms,
such as Netflix, YouTube or Facebook, as well as to live streaming on video-sharing platforms.
The updated rules will ensure:
Audiovisual media services providers should have appropriate measures to combat content inciting violence, hatred and terrorism, while gratuitous violence and pornography will be subject to the strictest rules. Video-sharing platforms
will now be responsible for reacting quickly when content is reported or flagged by users as harmful.
The legislation does not include any automatic filtering of uploaded content, but, at the request of the Parliament, platforms
need to create a transparent, easy-to-use and effective mechanism to allow users to report or flag content.
The new law includes strict rules on advertising, product placement in children's TV programmes and content available on
video-on-demand platforms. EP negotiators also secured a personal data protection mechanism for children, imposing measures to ensure that data collected by audiovisual media providers are not processed for commercial use, including for profiling and
behaviourally targeted advertising.
Under the new rules, advertising can take up a maximum of 20% of the daily broadcasting period between 6.00 and 18.00, giving the broadcaster the flexibility to adjust their advertising periods. A prime-time window between 18:00 and
0:00 was also set out, during which advertising will only be allowed to take up a maximum of 20% of broadcasting time.
In order to support the cultural diversity of the European audiovisual sector, MEPs ensured that 30% of content in the video-on-demand platforms' catalogues should be European.
Video-on-demand platforms are
also asked to contribute to the development of European audiovisual productions, either by investing directly in content or by contributing to national funds. The level of contribution in each country should be proportional to their on-demand revenues in
that country (member states where they are established or member states where they target the audience wholly or mostly).
The legislation also includes provisions regarding accessibility, integrity of a broadcaster's signal,
strengthening regulatory authorities and promoting media competences.
The deal still needs to be formally approved by the Council of EU ministers before the revised law can enter into
force. Member States have 21 months after its entry into force to transpose the new rules into national legislation.
The text was adopted by 452 votes against 132, with 65 abstentions.
A new section has been added to the AVMS rules re censorship
Member States shall take appropriate measures to ensure that audiovisual media services provided by media service providers under their jurisdiction which may impair the physical, mental or moral development of minors are only
made available in such a way as to ensure that minors will not normally hear or see them. Such measures may include selecting the time of the broadcast, age verification tools or other technical measures. They shall be proportionate to the potential harm
of the programme. The most harmful content, such as gratuitous violence and pornography, shall be subject to the strictest measures.
Personal data of minors collected or otherwise generated by media service
providers pursuant to paragraph 1 shall not be processed for commercial purposes, such as direct marketing, profiling and behaviourally targeted advertising.
Member States shall ensure that media service providers
provide sufficient information to viewers about content which may impair the physical, mental or moral development of minors. For this purpose, media service providers shall use a system describing the potentially harmful nature of the content of an
audiovisual media service. For the implementation of this paragraph, Member States shall encourage the use of co - regulation as provided for in Article 4a(1).
The Commission shall encourage media service providers
to exchange best practices on co - regulatory codes of conduct . Member States and the Commission may foster self - regulation, for the purposes of this Article, through Union codes of conduct as referred to in Article 4a(2).
Article 4a suggests possible organisation of the censors assigned to the task, eg state censors, state controlled organisations eg Ofcom, or nominally state controlled co-regulators like the defunct ATVOD.
Article 4a(3). notes that
censorial countries like the UK are free to add further censorship rules of their own:
Member States shall remain free to require media service providers under their jurisdiction to comply with more detailed or
stricter rules in compliance with this Directive and Union law, including where their national independent regulatory authorities or bodies conclude that any code of conduct or parts thereof h ave proven not to be sufficiently effective. Member States
shall report such rules to the Commission without undue delay. ;