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Document 32018D0111(02)

Commission Decision of 8 May 2017 on the compatibility with Union law of the measures to be taken by Ireland pursuant to Article 14 of Directive 2010/13/EU on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the provision of audiovisual media services (Audiovisual Media Services Directive)

C/2017/2898

OJ C 8, 11.1.2018, p. 10–11 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

In force

11.1.2018   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 8/10


COMMISSION DECISION

of 8 May 2017

on the compatibility with Union law of the measures to be taken by Ireland pursuant to Article 14 of Directive 2010/13/EU on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the provision of audiovisual media services (Audiovisual Media Services Directive)

(2018/C 8/04)

THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

Having regard to Directive 2010/13/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 2010 on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the provision of audiovisual media services (Audiovisual Media Services Directive) (1), and in particular Article 14(2) thereof,

Having regard to the opinion of the committee established pursuant to Article 29 of Directive 2010/13/EU,

Whereas:

(1)

By letter of 7 February 2017, Ireland notified to the Commission certain measures to be taken, pursuant to Article 14(1) of Directive 2010/13/EU, aimed at updating the measures currently in force, approved by the Commission by its Decision of 25 June 2007 (2). The measures to be taken concern the designation of a list of two events which are additional to the measures currently in force.

(2)

The Commission verified, within a period of three months from receipt of this notification, the compatibility of the measures to be taken with Union law, in particular with regard to the proportionality of the measures and the transparency of the national consultation procedure.

(3)

In examining the measures to be taken, the Commission took into consideration the available data on the Irish audiovisual market, in particular as regards the impact on the television market.

(4)

The list of two events of major importance for society in addition to the measures currently in force was drawn up by Ireland in a clear and transparent manner, following a wide public consultation.

(5)

On the basis of detailed evidence and viewing figures provided by the Irish authorities, the Commission verified that the list of two events in addition to the measures currently in force, drawn up in accordance with Article 14(1) of Directive 2010/13/EU, met at least two of the following criteria considered to be reliable indicators of the importance of such events for society: (i) a special general resonance within the Member State, and not simply a significance to those who ordinarily follow the sport or activity concerned; (ii) a generally recognised, distinct cultural importance for the population of the Member State, in particular as a catalyst of cultural identity; (iii) involvement of the national team in the event concerned in the context of a competition or tournament of international importance; and (iv) the fact that the event has traditionally been broadcast on free-to-air television and commands large television audiences.

(6)

The notified list of two events in addition to the measures currently in force contains two designated events which are considered to be events of major importance for society, namely the All-Ireland Senior Ladies' Football Final and the All-Ireland Senior Camogie Final.

(7)

As demonstrated by the Irish authorities, the All-Ireland Senior Ladies' Football Final has a special general resonance and cultural importance for Irish society, not just with those who ordinarily follow this sport. This event also commands large television audiences and has traditionally been broadcast on free-to-air television.

(8)

The All-Ireland Senior Camogie Final, as demonstrated by the Irish authorities, has a special general resonance and cultural importance for Irish society, going beyond significance to those who ordinarily follow this sport. This event also commands large television audiences and has traditionally been broadcast on free-to-air television.

(9)

The designated measures do not go beyond what is necessary to achieve the aim pursued, namely protection of the right to information and wide access of the public to television coverage of events of major importance for society. This conclusion takes into account the methods according to which the events in question will be broadcast, the definition of a ‘qualifying broadcaster’, the role of the High Court in the resolution of disputes arising in the course of implementation of the measures, and the fact that the designation is not expected to have any impact on existing contracts regarding broadcasting rights. It may therefore be concluded that the effects on the right to property, as provided for in Article 17 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, do not go beyond those which are intrinsically linked to the inclusion of the events in the list provided for in Article 14(1) of Directive 2010/13/EU.

(10)

For the same reasons, the measures to be taken appear to be proportionate to justify derogation from the fundamental freedom to provide services laid down in Article 56 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The overriding public interest is to ensure wide public access to broadcasts of events of major importance for society. In addition, the Irish measures do not constitute any discrimination or market foreclosure against other Member States' broadcasters, right holders or other economic operators.

(11)

The designated measures are moreover compatible with Union competition rules. The definition of the qualifying broadcasters for the broadcasting of listed events is based on objective criteria which allow actual and potential competition for acquiring the rights to broadcast these events. In addition, the number of designated events is not disproportionate to an extent that would distort competition on the downstream free-to-air and pay television markets. Therefore, it may be considered that the effects on freedom of competition do not go beyond those which are intrinsically linked to the inclusion of the events in the list provided for in Article 14(1) of Directive 2010/13/EU.

(12)

The Commission communicated the measures to be taken by Ireland to the other Member States and presented the results of its verification to the committee established pursuant to Article 29 of Directive 2010/13/EU. The committee adopted a favourable opinion,

HAS DECIDED AS FOLLOWS:

Sole Article

1.   The measures to be taken by Ireland, pursuant to Article 14(1) of Directive 2010/13/EU, and notified to the Commission pursuant to Article 14(2) of that Directive, are compatible with Union law.

2.   The measures, as taken by Ireland, shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Done at Brussels, 8 May 2017.

For the Commission

Andrus ANSIP

Vice-President


(1)  OJ L 95, 15.4.2010, p. 1.

(2)  Commission Decision 2007/478/EC of 25 June 2007 (OJ L 180, 10.7.2007, p. 17).


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