Policy and Practice in the Americas, Europe and Japan
Edited by Martin Cave and Kiyoshi Nakamura
Chapter 4: DTT and Digital Convergence: A European Policy Perspective
Gilles Fontaine and Gerard Pogorel Television policy in the European Union has been designed to conform to its overall aims of promoting European integration and social objectives. In its Sacchi Decision in 1974,1 the European Court of Justice provided an illustration of the EC eﬀort at abolishing national barriers to the free movement of goods and services, in stating that a television signal is considered a provision of services under Articles 59 and 60 of the Treaty of Rome. The EU’s landmark initiative in television policy is the ‘Television without Frontiers’ Directive (EC 1989). It provides ground for the Community coordination of national legislation in the following areas covering fundamental principles applicable to the audiovisual industry: laws applicable to television broadcasts, promotion of the production and distribution of European works, access of the public to major (sports) events, television advertising and sponsorship, protection of minors, and right of reply. Member States are required to conform or harmonise their national legislation to standards or criteria laid down in the text of the directive. This line of action has also led to audiovisual industry subsidy programmes, such as the European Commission’s successive MEDIA programmes. The review of the directive was launched in 2002 (EC 2002a), in the context of major shifts in technologies, increasing competitive pressure in the commercial TV sector, and concerns raised by the increase in the number of platforms and the multiplication of channels in the context of slow growth of overall resources available to the industry...
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