The EBU is glad that a solution has been put forward for citizens to be able to receive broadcast content from abroad on over-the-top (OTT) platforms and mobile networks, thanks to the adoption of the SatCab Directive (also known as Netcab) by the European Parliament. It guarantees the modernisation of the retransmission licensing regime, while ensuring appropriate remuneration for right holders.
Noel Curran, EBU Director General, commented “We do welcome the modernisation as a definite step in favour of European citizens and European culture, and we hope for a swift implementation, but we find it regrettable that the new legal framework still does not cover on demand services as offered by broadcasters, such as catch-up TV".
The original aim of the Directive was to ensure that European citizens have access to high quality content and information. It also offered the opportunity to connect Europeans through a better circulation of European content, along the lines of the EBU's support for culture, creativity and right holders.
In this respect, the updated licensing regime for retransmission will indeed give wider access to broadcasters’ programmes within a secure legal framework – and, in the context of radio, the country-of-origin principle applies in full.
The EBU however regrets that the scope of audiovisual programmes which can be offered cross-border on the broadcasters' own online platforms has been drastically narrowed, so that certain services are not covered.
"We still hope it is a first step towards more significant progress in the future", concluded Curran.