Lights Camera Brexit | Article | FTI Consulting

Lights, Camera… Brexit?

A New Episode for the UK's Broadcasting Sector

Economic & Financial Consulting | Telecom, Media & Technology (TMT)

May 24, 2017


Does the UK’s vote to go it alone call time on Britain’s position as Europe’s go-to broadcasting hub?

Strength of the UK’s broadcasting sector

Britain has a proud heritage as centre for creative industries – and nowhere is that more apparent than in the strength of Britain’s broadcasting sector. Long seen as Europe’s most attractive hub for broadcasters seeking to reach other EU member states, an entire broadcasting ecosystem has built up, supported by Britain’s own large domestic broadcasting market, a stable regulatory regime, access to highly skilled workers and unparalleled access to post production facilities and satellite uplinks.

But is this heritage now under threat? Reliant until now on the EU’s Country of Origin (COO ) principle, just how will Britain and its broadcasters need to adapt to maintain a strong position that has taken many decades to build?

What is the COO principle?

The COO principle is the foundation of the EU’s Audio Visual Media Services Directive (AVMSD ), which ensures the freedom to provide broadcasting services throughout the EU.

The COO principle has simplified regulation for broadcasters allowing them to operate across the EU as long as they satisfy regulatory requirements in the Member State in which their services originate. A provider only has to be licensed in and abide by the legislation of one Member State to be able to broadcast across the whole EU.1

1 We note that the COO principle is itself under some threat in the proposed AVMSD review put forward by the European Commission in May 2016 which received strong support from the European Parliament on 25 April 2017.

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