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Get this latest wheeze from the high priests of parochialism.

The EU is preparing to act against the “disproportionate” amount of British television and film content shown in Europe in the wake of Brexit, in a blow to the UK entertainment industry and the country’s “soft power” abroad.

The UK is Europe’s biggest producer of film and TV programming, buoyed up by £1.4bn from the sale of international rights, but its dominance has been described as a threat to Europe’s “cultural diversity” in an internal EU document seen by the Guardian […]

Brussels’ target this time is the continuing definition of British programmes and film as being “European works”.

Under the EU’s audiovisual media services directive, a majority of airtime must be given to such European content on terrestrial television and it must make up at least 30% of the number of titles on video on demand (VOD) platforms such as Netflix and Amazon.

There they go, conflating the EU and Europe yet again. It is entirely intentional. That directive actually does exist and it’s as narrow-minded as you’d imagine it to be. Yet in the interests of “cultural diversity” the Eurocrats threaten to significantly restrict the diversity of content. I don’t know how that works, but I’m glad these people no longer dictate what appears on my screen.

Of course in the end it’s normal people who suffer. The UK, amazingly, produces far superior TV than any other European country. I should know. I’ve seen enough TV in the five other European countries I’ve lived in to pronounce it all as appalling. Italy takes the prize for the worst. I actually watched and wondered how the successors of Roman civilisation and the Renaissance could produce such rubbish. (Answer: Berlusconi mainly.) Spain and France are barely better.

So it looks like Europeans are going to “enjoy” many more Italian game shows.

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  1. This applies also to video on demand services?

    Maybe they can compel viewers to only watch EU programming, where all shows have a happy ending and have a common agricultural policy forever after

    This dopey rule can be complied with by just slapping a bunch of cheap continental programming to Netflix, even if few watch it.

    There are services ( here ) that pretty much only show British programs. How the hell could they comply with such a rule?


  2. The EU is being quite open about this – it’s revenge for Brexit:

    “According to the leaked EU paper, entitled “The disproportionate presence of UK content in the European VOD quota and the effects on the circulation and promotion of diverse European works”, it is thought necessary for the bloc to reassess the “presence of UK content in the aftermath of Brexit”.

    “The concerns relate to how Brexit will impact the audiovisual production sector in the European Union as, according to the European Audiovisual Observatory, the UK provides half of the European TV content presence of VOD in Europe and the UK works are the most actively promoted on VOD, while the lowest EU27 share of promotion spots is also found in the UK,” the paper says. It adds: “Although the UK is now a third country for the European Union, its audiovisual content still qualifies as ‘European works’ according to the definition provided by the AVMS directive, as the definition continues to refer to the European convention on Transfrontier Television of the Council of Europe, to which the UK remains a party…

    EU sources suggested the initiative would probably be taken further when France takes over the rolling presidency of the union in January, with the backing of Spain, Greece, Italy and Austria, among others. There is a midterm review of the AVMS directive due in three years’ time, which sources suggested may be the point at which changes could come into force.”


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