The Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) (Directive 2010/13/EU) sets out a country of origin principle, where providers of broadcasting channels and video on-demand services based in one country are only subject to one set of rules and regulations from a ‘country of origin’.
In the UK a broadcasting licence issued by Ofcom is valid in the whole of the EU, so providers only need to comply with Ofcom rules, regardless of where the licensed service is received within the EU.
The UK, along with 20 other EU countries, is a signatory to the Council of Europe’s European Convention on Transfrontier Television (ECTT] which came into force in 1993. EU countries that have signed and ratified the ECTT are Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.
ECTT guarantees freedom of reception between parties and sets out that they must not restrict the retransmission of compliant programmes within their territories.
However, ECTT sets out that EU countries should apply the AVMSD not ECTT between each other. This means that even the EU countries who have signed ECTT observe only AVMSD rules inside the single market.
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