Department for Culture Media and Sport

international broadcasting

We promote UK interests in broadcasting policy in the European Union, the Council of Europe and other international organisations.

Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMS)

We are responsible for implementing the European Union AVMS Directive. This requires video-on-demand (VoD) services to meet minimum European Union (EU) standards.

These standards cover, for example, prohibition of incitement to racial hatred, protection for children and young people, and regulations for advertising content. They also ensure that video-on-demand services within the EU are regulated only by the Member State from which they originate, in line with the rules which already apply to television.

The Office of Communications (Ofcom), has been given powers to regulate video-on-demand services, and it has designated the Association for Television On Demand (ATVOD) as a co-regulatory body. UK providers must notify ATVOD that they are providing, or intend to provide, a video-on-demand service.


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Product Placement on television

The AVMS Directive allows us to permit product placement in some types of television programmes. Following a public consultation, legislation was introduced to permit product placement within the limits allowed by the Directive, but to maintain a prohibition on the product placement of certain products, including alcohol and foods high in fat, salt and sugar.


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The Council of Europe

The Council of Europe (CoE)'s Convention on Transfrontier Television extends rules on TV broadcasting similar to those in the AVMS Directive to a number of non-EU countries, such as Croatia and Turkey. We represent the UK on the Standing Committee on Transfrontier Television (T-TT), which monitors the Convention’s implementation.

We also represent the UK on the CoE’s Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (CDMC) which recommends and monitors freedom of expression and information standards in the media and communication services, including the internet.


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