EU may demand more European films on Netflix

New proposals part of a wider plan to increase investment in EU’s television and film industry

Netflix and Amazon’s video streaming services could be forced to devote “at least” 20 per cent of their catalogues to European films and TV shows

Netflix and Amazon’s video streaming services could be forced to devote “at least” 20 per cent of their catalogues to European films and TV shows

 

Netflix and Amazon’s video streaming services could be forced to devote “at least” 20 per cent of their catalogues to European films and TV shows as part of an overhaul of the EU’s broadcasting rules.

Under a Brussels plan to be unveiled next week, video-on-demand groups would also be obliged to “ensure prominence” of any European works, potentially forcing them to replace valuable space on their homepages given to Hollywood blockbusters with French cinema.

Such services are not currently covered by legislation that requires national broadcasters to keep 20 per cent of their content European in order to make sure that viewers are not overwhelmed by US imports.

‘Contribute financially’

European Commission

The new proposals come as part of a wider plan to increase investment in the EU’s television and film industry. Traditional broadcasters invest more heavily than their online peers, according to an EU study. In general, broadcasters such as the BBC invest roughly 20 per cent of their turnover in new productions. For streaming services, this figure drops to barely 1 per cent, the EU found.

Netflix has started to make more original European content with mixed success: its recent blockbuster series Marseille, starring Gérard Depardieu, has been panned by critics. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2016