EU in no rush to lay down law on media convergence
Ireland’s presidency of the European Union is coinciding with a series of discussions on how to regulate the rapidly converging media sector – talks that will eventually lead to a new Audio-Visual Media Services Directive expected later this decade.
Advertisers and media owners alike have become increasingly concerned by the lack of a level playing pitch between broadcast and online media (such as video-on-demand services) in terms of how they are regulated.
Although Irish broadcasters RTÉ, TV3 and TG4 abide by a “soft” code of practice on their catch-up players, the same code does not apply to advertising on YouTube, for example.
Revising the directive is a long-term project, however. Legislators believe it is too soon to update the existing directive because of the industry’s current state of flux.
Given that the process of producing a directive takes approximately five years to complete, any new draft directive published during the present term of the European Commission is likely to be out of date by the time it is enacted.
DG Connect, the European Commission directorate-general that oversees the implementation of the EU’s digital agenda, is expected to publish a green paper on connected television shortly – the document is understood to be in translation.
This will serve as the backdrop to a European Commission-led debate about the regulation of converged media set to take place over the next six months.