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Audiovisual: Issues and Recommendations in Advance of the Brexit Deadline

AUTHOR(S): Helen Kelly, Kate McKenna
PRACTICE AREA GROUP: EU, Competition and Regulatory
DATE: 14.03.2019

Freedom of Reception: UK broadcasters will not be able to seamlessly broadcast throughout the EU

UK broadcasters will no longer benefit from the 'country of origin’ principle under the Audiovisual Media Services Directive ("AVMSD") and will require separate licenses from each EU Member State that it wishes to broadcast into. Under AVMSD, broadcasters licensed / regulated in one Member State have a ‘freedom of reception’ to broadcast throughout the EU without being regulated further.

The UK is currently the main country of establishment in the EU for television and on-demand services (Amazon Prime etc) and 40% of TV channels established in the UK target another EU market so access to the EU market is crucial for UK regulated broadcasters.

Our recommendation:

Ofcom licensed broadcasters operating in Ireland should finalise their plans for establishment and licensing in another EU Member State before Brexit Day. The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland’s licensing and regulatory regime offers an alternative worth considering.

Production of Content:  UK producers will not benefit from EU funding for works.   

UK production houses will no longer benefit from EU funding for the productions of content (eg, the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and Horizon 202) and will need to immediately source alternative funding or look to moving production to another EU Member State.

Our recommendation:

Production companies should finalise their plans for ensuring continued access to EU funding before Brexit Day. With an established film and production industry, access to EU funding and tax incentives, Ireland is likely to be considered more often as a key location for operations.  


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