Setting the scene, the idea of the ‘creative economy’ is critically located in both the policy and academic literatures. Next, the European Union’s (EU) shifting role in cultural policy is discussed, with particular reference to the Creative Europe programme. Then, the illuminating history of regulatory policy on ‘borderless television’ is considered along with the balance of international audiovisual trade with the US. This is the context for an analysis of the planned Digital Single Market and its implications. The conclusion notes the continuing ambiguity of relations between culture and economy in the EU as these now play out in the digital era.