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  • Writer's pictureExpert Media Partners

5 things EMP has learnt about Brexit and Broadcasting in 2018

Updated: Aug 7, 2018

1 – It is highly unlikely that UK licence holders will be able to continue to broadcast to the EU after Brexit

2 – The EU/EEA is ready to welcome former Ofcom-licensed broadcasters to their jurisdictions

There’s a genuinely competitive market emerging in jurisdictions.  Numerous jurisdictions including Estonia, Ireland and Belgium have held events in London to showcase what they can offer as an alternative location to London.  These events have included presentations from regulators, lawyers, broadcasters and even the President of Estonia.  It’s very clear that when foreign presidents want to talk to UK-based broadcasters, it’s being taken very seriously.

Cities across the EU are building media hubs to try and compete with London. Belgium has media offices built and ready to be filled and Estonia has a hi-tech hub and a cost-effective, flexible and skilled workforce. 

3 – EU and EEA Countries are offering attractive production incentives to foreign production companies

Some of the countries that EMP has spoken to over the last 6 months are offering incentives for production.  Rebates (sometimes in cash) of between 20% and 35% are given to qualifying productions on their eligible EU-incurred expenditure.

Malta offers a cash rebate of up to 27%, Ireland offers a 32% rebate, and The Netherlands Film Fund offers a cash rebate of up to 30% for high quality television and 35% for films. *

*subject to eligibility

4 – Jurisdictions are willing to adapt in order to suit the needs of UK broadcasters

Countries are open to adapting advertising laws and changing their applications process in order to attract currently UK-based broadcasters.

Broadcast regulators have been speaking with their governments to make changes to advertising restrictions in areas such as language requirements and alcohol and gambling to accommodate the needs of new broadcasters. 

5 – COO principle is open to interpretation

The country of origin is defined by things like where the company is registered, where editorial decisions are made, or where the satellite uplink is based.  There is quite a lot of scope within those criteria to interpret the country of origin principle differently and as many broadcasters will want to avoid the need to move their physical operations, identifying the jurisdiction with the right approach to the COO requirements could be crucial.

If the UK and EU fail to come to a comprehensive transitional deal in the next few months, then Ofcom-licensed broadcasters will have to make some challenging and very rapid decisions about where to relocate in order to continue broadcasting to the EU after March 2019. 

That would involve the arduous task of researching, comparing and reviewing the broadcast legislation of all 30 EU and EEA countries. 

The Brexit Broadcast Licensing Directory

The EMP Brexit team that published Brexit and the UK Television Industry has been visiting countries across the EU and EEA and researching options for UK-based broadcasters. 

The team is now offering a country-by-country guide to broadcast regulation in the EU and EEA that includes:

1 - Contact details for every regulator in Europe (over 130 verified names, email addresses and phone numbers)

2 - Comparative analysis of the advertising rules, including rules on alcohol and gambling in each jurisdiction       

3 – Details of the licensing process and costs in all countries across the EU and EEA

4 – Examples of the age and content restrictions and examples of the necessary on-air warnings for broadcasters in all countries

5 – A total of 325 verified links for more information on every EU and EEA jurisdiction

The Directory is an essential research tool for broadcasters, government officials, regulators, media lawyers, academics and journalists assessing, studying or reporting on the UK television and video industry. 

No similar comparative research is available on the market today.

The EMP Brexit Licensing Directory will be available for purchase from 4 July 2018.

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