PRESS RELEASE published on 25 May 2016 • Department / Unit Legal & PolicyAdvocacy Page Audiovisual Media Services Directive

Revision of Audiovisual Media Services Directive heading in right direction, says EBU

TV Set Icon on Blue Arrow.

The EBU believes that today’s proposal to revise the Audiovisual Media Services Directive appropriately identifies the areas that need to be updated in light of media convergence and new viewing habits. 

EBU Head of European Affairs Nicola Frank said: “Today’s audiovisual media landscape offers viewers and service providers more than ever before. But there are also certain risks which can and should be attenuated with well-adapted and future-proof rules.”

“One risk is that people start missing out on programmes with a public interest angle quite simply because they are no longer easy to find.  We want viewers to always be aware that a rich offer of programmes of public value is available, and just one click or push of the button away.”

She added: “By introducing the notion of discoverability of general interest content in the new proposal, the European Commission has taken a step in the right direction. But there is room to go further and clearly establish viewers’ access to programmes of public value as a key objective, and provide scope for the EU Member States to develop corresponding policies where necessary.”

The EBU also welcomes the fact that the European Commission’s proposal avoids overhauling existing rules which remain well adapted to a rapidly evolving audiovisual landscape. Core strengths of the existing Directive are maintained, such as the country of origin principle, the protection of minors, the fight against hate speech, citizens’ access to news, and the possibility for Member States to ensure that events of major importance for society can be watched by the entire population.

According to the EBU’s Media Intelligence Service’s latest research, EBU members spent 16.6 billion Euros in programmes in the EU in 2014. 84% of this total expenditure was directed towards the production of original content.


The EU's Audiovisual Media Services Directive governs EU-wide coordination of national legislation on all audiovisual media, both TV broadcasts and on-demand services. EU rules for audiovisual media have already been updated in the light of technological and market developments on several occasions since their introduction in 1989.

Today’s proposal to revise the Audiovisual Media Services Directive will now be examined and amended by the European Parliament and the EU Member States.

Relevant Links

Audiovisual Media Services Directive
Professor Tom Gibbons shares his ideas on where to focus regulation in the new media landscape

Contact detail

Wouter Gekiere
Deputy Head of European Affairs
+32 2 286 91 12
Michael Wagner
Head of Media and Communications Law
+41 22 717 25 11


Audiovisual Media Regulation policy sheet
The Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) sets out specific EU rules for TV and other audiovisual media services