Digital Broadcasting

Digital Broadcasting

Policy and Practice in the Americas, Europe and Japan

Edited by Martin Cave and Kiyoshi Nakamura

Digital television is transforming both broadcasting and, as a result of convergence, the larger world of communications. The impending analogue switch-off will have a major impact on households all over the developed world. Digital Broadcasting considers the effects of digital television on the availability, price and nature of broadcast services in the Americas, Europe and Japan. It shows how this depends upon what platforms – cable, satellite, fixed or wireless broadband – countries have available for use and also upon government policies and regulatory interventions.

Chapter 11: Regulation of Digital TV in the EU: Divine Coherence or Human Inconsistency?

Luca Di Mauro

Subjects: economics and finance, public sector economics, innovation and technology, technology and ict


Luca Di Mauro INTRODUCTION The EU regulatory framework for digital TV is based on two main pillars: regulation of content and regulation of infrastructure. These two pillars have different origins, aims at different objectives, and are implemented through different legislative means. Regulation of content in the field of television broadcasting has primarily been based on the Television Without Frontiers Directive (TVWF). Despite its title, and while its purpose is allegedly to create a single market in the production and distribution of audiovisual content, the Directive introduces a number of restrictions on the provision of audiovisual content. In particular, the Directive has been conceived to support objectives which do not seem to be particularly relevant to, or instrumental to, the objective of developing a single market for broadcasting content: among them, for example, ensuring cultural and linguistic diversity quotas, the protection of minors, of human dignity and of consumers.1 Regulation of the infrastructure needed to convey broadcasting signals has been, on the other hand, increasingly shaped by the phenomenon of convergence. Convergence of technologies, allowed by the adoption of digital signal standards for data transmission, has meant that regulation of infrastructure capable of conveying digital data has had to evolve and adapt. Regulation of this kind has primarily been developed in the EU within the context of telecommunications. Today such regulation has been enshrined in the EU regulatory framework for electronic communications. The distinction between hardware and software therefore remains one of the fundamental characteristics of European regulatory...

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