Members' Research Service By / April 16, 2018

Regulating online TV and radio broadcasting [EU Legislation in Progress]

The provision of television and radio broadcasting services over the internet is a fast-developing phenomenon in the European Union. The European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation to promote the cross-border provision of online services ancillary to broadcasts and facilitate digital retransmissions of TV and radio programmes originating in other Member States in September 2016.

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Written by Tambiama Madiega (2nd edition, updated on 22.03.2019),

Big screen smart tv at living room. 3d rendering.
© georgejmclittle / Fotolia

In December 2018, the co-legislators reached an agreement on a European Commission proposal for facilitating the cross-border provision of online TV and radio content. The co-legislators agreed to extend the ‘country of origin’ principle to a limited set of online services, and to facilitate the licensing of retransmission services over the internet under certain conditions. Furthermore, at the request of the European Parliament, the compromise text contains new rules on ‘direct injection’, a process used increasingly by broadcasters to transmit their programmes to the public. The compromise also includes a change of the instrument from a regulation into a directive in order to leave flexibility to the Member States to implement the new rules on ‘direct injection’. The Member States’ negotiators and the Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) endorsed the political agreement in January 2019. The compromise text must now gain the approval of the European Parliament during the March II plenary session.


Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down rules on the exercise of copyright and related rights applicable to certain online transmissions of broadcasting organisations and retransmissions of television and radio programmes
Committee responsible: Legal Affairs (JURI) COM(2016) 594 of 14.9.2016

procedure ref.: 2016/0284(COD)

Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)

Rapporteur: Pavel Svoboda (EPP, Czech Republic)
Shadow rapporteurs: Angelika Niebler (EPP, Germany)
Tiemo Wölken, (S&D, Germany)
Sajjad Karim (ECR, UK)
Jean-Marie Cavada (ALDE, France)
Jiří Maštálka (GUE/NGL, Czech Republic)
Julia Reda (Greens/EFA, Germany)
Isabella Adolfini (EFDD, Italy)
Marie-Christine Boutonnet (ENF, France)
Next steps expected: First-reading vote in plenary

voted in Plenary

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