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Audiovisual media services directive

In 2010, the EU codified the 2007 audiovisual media services directive. It aims to produce a framework for cross-border audiovisual media services in order to strengthen the internal programme production and distribution market and to guarantee conditions of fair competition.

It takes account of technological developments in the audiovisual media sector such as the convergence between services and technology and the growing importance of non-linear services (for example, video on demand). It replaced the 1989 ‘television without frontiers’ directive.

The directive contains rules on EU-wide coordination of national legislation on all audiovisual media (whether television or on-demand services). It includes aspects such as the protection of minors, a prohibition on incitement to hatred, accessibility needs of people with a visual or hearing disability and rules on advertising and product placement.

The Contact Committee brings together EU countries' representatives to monitor the implementation of the directive and the developments in the sector.

In 2014, the European Commission established a European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services to advise it on the directive's implementation.