The Audiovisual Media Services Directive is the most significant European legislation in the broadcasting and online video field for many years.  All EU Member States are due to implement the Directive in their national laws imminently, on 19 December 2009. As a service to our media clients and contacts we are circulating this bulletin summarising the implementation status of the AVMS Directive in 12 EU Member States: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom (please click on any of the flags below to view).

The AVMS Directive (2007/65 EC) amends the Television Without Frontiers Directive (89/552/EEC) and extends certain regulation formerly reserved for traditional television broadcasting to cover new forms of video-on-demand type services.

The AVMS Directive also introduces new rules relating to subjects such as advertising, product placement and protection of children – which under the Directive apply to both traditional broadcasting and video on demand type services ("Audiovisual On-Demand Services").  Broadly, Audiovisual On-Demand Services cover a range of methods whereby an end-user can view 'programmes' from a catalogue at a time of their choosing – for example by downloading TV programmes online or via a cable TV service where videos can be downloaded onto a user's hard-drive recorder.

There are many more interesting topics related to the AVMS Directive which we will continue to monitor and analyse in forthcoming notes. We will also update this implementation summary from time to time. If you would like to know more about the implementation in any of the territories mentioned in this note or others please contact a member of our media team.

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