Further to a public consultation, the Italian Communications Authority (Autorità per le garanzie nelle comunicazioni, Agcom) published a new resolution modifying the investments obligations for on-demand media services.
Pursuant to Section 44 of the Legislative Decree No. 177/2005 (the ‘Audiovisual Media Services Code’) broadcasters are required to promote the production and distribution of European works in accordance with a programming quota.
A certain percentage of European works shall be included in the programming schedules of the broadcasters which are also required to maintain certain levels of investment in audiovisual works by independent producers.
In order to promote the production and distribution of European works and guarantee a more competitive market, Agcom originally issued Resolution 66/09/CONS further revised by Resolution 188/11/CONS.
The recent revision was the result of discussions by a panel of parties and resulted in the obligation for on-demand broadcasters to:
- ensure that their catalogue contains at least 20 per cent of European works (a percentage to be calculated on the total number of hours of programming made available each year in the same catalogue); or
- allocate an annual financial contribution to the production of or purchase of rights of European works for their catalogues amounting to 5 per cent of the revenues attributable to the public provision of on-demand content within the catalogue in the previous year.
Agcom considered to modify the regulation on the topic and, in particular, incorporated the following:
- while under the previous regulation certain on-demand services were not subject to the broadcasting and investment obligations, now all on demand services are required to comply with the above mentioned obligations;
- on-demand services may benefit from a reduction (equal to one fifth) of the broadcasting and investment obligations provided that they give adequate prominence to European works within their catalogues.