IRIS Special - Regional and local broadcasting in Europe

Regional and local broadcasting in Europe – can the voice of the regions still be heard? A report on regional media in Europe published in September 2016.

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Pages : 119
Place : Strasbourg
Date of publication : September 2016
Editor : European Audiovisual Observatory

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The structure of this study explores the following questions:

  • What is the role of regional and local media in Europe?
  • How is this role promoted by the actions and legal instruments of the Council of Europe?
  • What are the national specific trends and developments in Europe on a country-by-country basis?
  • Where does the future of regional and local media in Europe lie? 

Regional and local broadcast media in Europe may appear for many as a last bastion of plurality, of vox populi and of democracy. The European Audiovisual Observatory, part of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, has just published a brand new IRIS Special analysis of the current state of regional and local broadcasting in Europe 

This latest Observatory publication is based on research led by Ronan Ó Fathaigh, Tarlach McGonagle and Nico van Eijk, from the IViR of Amsterdam. It is composed of special contributions by media experts such as Elda Brogi, Jean-François Furnémont, Oliver Gerber, Gianna Iacino, Marc Janssen, Deirdre Kevin, Alina Ostling, Francesca Pellicanò, Benjamin Selier and Sophie Valais.

This new report offers a much-needed overview of regional audiovisual media in Europe in three sections.

Section I delivers a broad overview of current national developments and reforms in recent years

Section II the second digs deeper into individual national case studies of regional and local media – their distinctive features and regulatory approaches

Section III looks into the future of regional and local broadcasting.

Regional and local broadcasting in Europe – a new must-read report which takes the pulse of local media in our regions!


Content list


Part 1 - Overview


1. Introduction

1.1. The importance of regional audiovisual media

1.1.1. Terminology

1.2. Council of Europe framework

1.2.1. European Convention on Human Rights

1.2.2. Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM)

1.2.3. The European Charter on Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML)

1.2.4. Non-treaty-based standard-setting Committee of Ministers Parliamentary Assembly Congress of Local and Regional Authorities

1.3. Structure of publication


2. Current national developments

2.1. United Kingdom: creating a regional audiovisual framework

2.1.1. Independent production exemptions

2.1.2. Media-ownership rules

2.2. Flexibility and funding

2.2.1. Switzerland

2.2.2. Spain

2.2.3. Germany

2.3. Consolidation and efficiency

2.3.1. The Netherlands

2.3.2. Portugal

2.4. Advertising and regional windows

2.4.1. Germany

2.4.2. Russian Federation

2.5. Must carry and the digital switchover

2.5.1. Romania

2.5.2. Russian Federation

2.5.3. France

2.5.4. The Netherlands: must-carry exemptions

2.6. Italy: frequency allocation

2.7. Closures

2.8. Conclusion


3. Regional and local pluralism: the Media Pluralism Monitor tool and the results of the 2015 implementation

3.1. Introducing the Media Pluralism Monitor (MPM)

3.2. The MPM2015 approach to regional and local media

3.3. The MPM2015 analysis on regional and local media

3.3.1. Legal safeguards and support measures for regional and local media

3.3.2 The role of the PSM

3.4. The new version of the MPM in 2016

3.5. Conclusion


4. Regional and local television in Europe: a vast and varied panorama

4.1. The varied nature of public regional broadcasting in Europe

4.1.1. Distinct regional public broadcasting companies

4.1.2. Associated regional public broadcasting companies

4.1.3. National public broadcaster with sub-units for languages

4.1.4. Specific language channels (associated with specific regions)

4.1.5. Regional public service channels of the national public broadcasters

4.1.6. Regional (broadcast) windows of national public broadcasters

4.1.7. Regional studios of national public broadcasters as production centres

4.2. The private side of regional and local television


Part 2 – Regional and local broadcasting in selected countries


5. Germany

5.1. General Introduction

5.2. Regulatory Framework

5.2.1. Regional window programmes

5.2.2. Regional advertising

5.2.3. Opt-out clause

5.2.4. Platform occupancy

5.3. Market Overview

5.4. Recent developments

5.4.1. Federal Administrative Court’s decision on regional advertising and its consequences

5.4.2. Regional windows: procedural rules and constitutionality

5.5. Current and future challenges


6. Italy

6.1. General introduction

6.2. The legal framework: the “local scope” and the fundamental principle of the local media activity

6.3. Regulatory overview, the market, and the financing of the sector

6.4. A specific aspect of the Italian system: the “regional public service broadcasting”

6.5. Recent developments

6.6. Conclusions


7. The Netherlands

7.1. General introduction

7.2. Regulatory framework

7.3. Market overview

7.4. Specific issues regarding regional public broadcasting in the Netherlands

7.5. Recent developments

7.6. Concluding remarks


8. France

8.1. General introduction

8.2. Regulatory aspects concerning regional and local channels

8.2.1. Authorisation procedures

8.2.2. The regional public service offer

8.2.3. Local variations of the national channels

8.2.4. Local channels operated by local authorities

8.2.5. Arrangements to counter concentration

8.2.6. Regulation of content and advertising

8.2.7. The must-carry obligation incumbent on local public-sector channels

8.3. The local and regional television landscape in France

8.3.1. Overview

8.3.2. Characteristics of the regional and local channels

8.3.3. Income and economic viability

8.3.4. France 3

8.4. Final comments


9. Spain               

9.1. General introduction

9.2. Regulatory framework

9.3. Market overview

9.4. Specific issues

9.5. Recent developments

9.6. Current and future challenges


10. Switzerland

10.1. Introduction

10.2. Legal parameters

10.2.1. The broadcasting remit in the Federal Constitution

10.2.2. Legislation of regional public service TV Typology of broadcasters in the law Award of a concession Regional remit with input and output criteria Right to a share of broadcast-reception licence fees (fee-splitting) Coverage areas Must-carry privilege Supervision

10.3. Challenges

10.4. Ongoing developments

10.4.1. More fee-splitting

10.4.2. Relaxing the advertising rules

10.4.3. Subsidised subtitling

10.4.4. Promotion of digitisation

10.4.5. Relaxation of the rules on competitive concentration

10.4.6. Abolition of the regional restriction on distribution

10.5. Outlook

10.5.1. Public service broadcasting and imminent renewal of concessions

10.5.2. Success through co-operation?


11. United Kingdom

11.1. General introduction

11.2. Regulatory framework

11.3. Market overview

11.4. Specific issues

11.5. Recent developments

11.6. Current and future challenges


Part 3 – The future of regional and local broadcasting


12. Viable local and regional television channels

12.1. Introduction

12.2. Hostile economic context

12.3. Unfavourable developments in consumption modes

12.4. Grounds for optimism

12.5. The absence of a model

12.6. Conclusion: determining elements


13. Concluding remarks


Online Services

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