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UK implementation of Audiovisual Media Services Directive

Posted by malcolm on Thursday, March 12th, 2009 at 10:58

The UK’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) yesterday announced how it will implement the new EU regulatory framework for television-like services, the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMS).

The Directive will result in new rules to cover:

  • a system for regulating video-on-demand services in the UK;
  • controls over the content of non-EU satellite channels which are uplinked from a ground station in the UK;
  • product placement in television and video-on-demand services.

For the first time common standards are being brought in for video-on-demand services across the EU. A co-regulatory body led and funded by the industry will take on responsibility for regulating programme content on video-on-demand services in the UK. Under the new rules, all UK providers of VOD services will need to notify the co-regulator that they are providing a service and Ofcom will be given ‘backstop’ powers to deal with serious or repeated breaches of standards.

Video-on-demand services only come within the scope of the AVMS Directive if they are mass media services whose principal purpose is to provide TV programmes to the public on demand.

The announcement was accompanied by a speech by DCMS Minister Andy Burnham.

DCMS intend to hold an AVMS stakeholder meeting on Monday 30 March at 2-4pm at the DCMS offices (2-4 Cockspur Street, London SW1Y 5DH). This will be an opportunity to discuss AVMS implementation issues in more detail. Those wishing to register for this meeting,  should reply to:   by 25 March.

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