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Public consultation on the revised European Audio Video Services Directive (AVMSD)

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This week the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment opened a new public consultation on the revised European Audio Video Services Directive (AVMSD).

The EU's Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) governs EU-wide coordination of national legislation on all audiovisual media, both traditional TV broadcasts and on-demand services.

This is the biggest change on how our linear and non-linear services are regulated in nearly a decade.

The Government have 19 months to implement the recently revised European Audio Video Services Directive (AVMSD) into Irish law.

While the AVMSD is concerned with many aspects of broadcasting and online video sharing, including new online child protection measures; the key elements for SPI are:

 

· The revised Directive further aligns the rules and requirements for Television Broadcasting Services and On-demand Audiovisual Media Services.

· The revised Directive requires a 30% quota of European Works on On-demand Audiovisual Media Services.

· The revised Directive allows an EU country to levy revenues a Television Broadcasting Service or an On-demand Audiovisual Media Service makes in that country even if it is based in another EU country.

 

The consultation seeks the views of stakeholders and the general public as to how Ireland should approach the implementation of this aspect of the revised Directive. The Department has posed questions in order to simulate responses to the document.

These include: 

- What type of regulatory relationship should exist between an on-demand service established in Ireland and the Regulator?

- Should the same content rules apply to both linear and on-demand services?

- Should Ireland update its current content production fund (Sound & Vision fund currently administered by the BAI from licence fee receipts) to include non-linear services as well as applying levies to services which are regulated in another EU Member State but target Ireland?

As part of the implementation of the directive, there may need to be changes to the regulatory bodies that govern our media landscape.

 

Among the options that could be considered in this context are:

 

- Restructuring and Reforming the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland as a Media Commission and assigning all four regulatory strands to this regulator. This could involve restructuring the BAI into a multi-person Commission, using the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission as a potential model. This could provide for a Commissioner for television and radio broadcasting; a Commissioner for on demand services and other functions; and a Digital Safety Commissioner with responsibility for both the European and national regulatory functions in relation to online safety.

- Two regulatory bodies, one of which would involve restructuring the BAI and assigning it responsibility for content which is subject to editorial control (traditional television and radio broadcasting and on-demand services). The second regulator would be a new body responsible for online content that is not subject to editorial controls (both national and European strands related to online safety).

The consultation is open for the next 6 weeks and SPI is preparing a response to the consultation.

If any SPI member has any questions on the consultation, please contact us and we will be happy to talk more about it.

All the official documentation available here.

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