Latest News

14/01/2016 : Press release - Online copyright enforcement: policies and mechanisms


European Audiovisual Observatory publishes new IRIS Plus legal report                     

Game of Thrones has just officially become the most pirated TV Show on the Internet for the fourth year running.  An estimated 14.4 million downloads via BitTorrent of the 2015 season finale place the series at the top of the piracy list.   Hot on the heels of this news comes the latest free IRIS Plus report by the European Audiovisual Observatory – Online copyright enforcement: policies and mechanisms. The Strasbourg-based Observatory, part of the Council of Europe, offers a timely examination of those copyright measures which enable Europe to protect its audiovisual content online. This new report provides invaluable background to understanding the significance of last year’s announcement. Authored by Maja Cappello, Sophie Valais, Christian Grece and Francisco Cabrera, this report can be down loaded for free here.

08/01/2016 : Press release - The Czech Republic takes over European Audiovisual Observatory Presidency for 2016

Susanne Nikoltchev and Lenka Holubova Mikolasova

Susanne Nikoltchev and Lenka Holubova Mikolasova

The European Audiovisual Observatory, the Council of Europe’s audiovisual information centre, is now under a new Presidency for 2016.  The Czech Republic takes over from Montenegro which held the Presidency of the Strasbourg-based Observatory in 2015.

The Czech Republic is represented within the Observatory’s Executive Council by Lenka Holubova Mikolasova, from the Media and Audiovisual Departement of the Czech Ministry of Culture. She commented that the Czech Republic takes over the Observatory Presidency for the first time at a period when the Czech cinema industry can obtain significant help in terms of systematic changes in financing and incentive scheme administration. She concluded that “2016 would be a key an important year for Czech cinema” and promised an “active and dynamic” Observatory Presidency. A public media conference will be held under the Czech Presidency this summer in Prague and the theme of this conference will be announced at the beginning of 2016.

16/12/2015 : Press release - Luc Besson’s Lucy the most successful European film export in recent years

Observatory publishes new report on the theatrical market for European films outside Europe

Luc Besson’s English language Sci-Fi thriller Lucy (FR) clearly stood out as the most successful European film selling 31.9 million tickets outside Europe in 2014, thus accounting alone for 38% of total admissions to European films in the 12 non-European markets covered. This is both the highest amount as well as the highest share in admissions tracked for any European film in the past 5 years. This is one of the findings of the European Audiovisual Observatory’s latest film market report: The Theatrical Market for European Films Outside Europe. This brand new report provides a high-level analysis of the performance of European films on theatrical markets outside Europe in 2014.

European films generated an estimated 18% of their “worldwide” admissions outside Europe in 2014

Cumulatively European films generated over 82 million ticket sales outside Europe. This represents an estimated 18% of estimated “worldwide” admissions to European films and shows that on a cumulative level theatrical exploitation outside Europe does contribute a significant share of the overall theatrical market volume of European films.

Admissions to European films outside Europe 2010-2014 (in mio, estimated)

Source: European Audiovisual Observatory / LUMIERE, Rentrak

This report can be purchased in our on-line shop here.

12/11/2015 : Press release - European Audiovisual Observatory launches its Yearbook Online Service!

Top 12 European audiovisual players take 62% of turnover on Europe’s markets

Twelve European companies feature in the 2014 ranking of the top 50 major world audiovisual groups. Five of these are Public Service Broadcasters (ARD, BBC, France Télévisions, RAI and ZDF). Even if top European companies do get a limited fraction of their revenues outside Europe, their cumulated turn-over already accounts for an increasing share of the European market, in the range of 62%, leaving the rest to US-based players and smaller European groups.

This intelligence has just been published in the European Audiovisual Observatory’s newly launched Yearbook Online Service - now available as a fully searchable digital service on line.

Data is searchable by topic, country or thematic tag. Market analysis is available in PDF form and the data sets as downloadable excel files.

Our information is supplied in three different sections:

  • Pan-European data sets
  • Country profiles
  • Key trends

40 European countries are covered by the Yearbook Online Service: all EU member countries plus Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Morocco, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, “The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and Turkey.

Take a tour of this major new comparative intelligence source on the television, cinema, video and on demand markets here.

29/10/2015 : Press release - European Audiovisual Observatory launches its free AVMSDatabase

What’s the difference between advertising alcohol on the TV in Greece and Sweden? What do the different EU countries class as pornography on screen and when is their famous ‘watershed’? And how many minutes of free football coverage should we get in TV news?

The answers can be found in our AVMSDatabase (accessible free of charge here). This new database shows exactly how each EU country has transposed the various rules contained within the AVMS Directive (the principal legal text regulating audiovisual media services in Europe) into national legislation. The AVMSDatabase makes it possible, in a few clicks, to research:

  • How a certain article of the directive is implemented in a specific country

  • How countries A, B and C have implemented a specific article (comparative approach)

  • How certain articles of the directive have been implemented in countries A, B and C (multi layered research).

Take a tour now!

13/10/2015 : Press release - Question: What do Caroline of Monaco, Linford Christie and Gerhard Schröder have in common?

Answer: their names have all figured in important European case law concerning journalistic freedom of speech and the media.


All of these important media cases feature in IRIS Themes – Freedom of Expression, the Media and Journalists – downloadable free of charge here. This 400 page report by the European Audiovisual Observatory, part of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, offers an unparalleled overview of 240 different high profile court cases based on or around article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights – guaranteeing freedom of speech and information. Links to the full transcription for each case are provided.

This publication has been authored by Dirk Voorhoof (Ghent and Copenhagen Universities) and edited by Tarlach McGonagle of Amsterdam’s Institute for Information Law (IViR).

In the times of whistleblowers, hate speech, data protection, good and bad “buzz”, this new publication provides vital background analysis of the European legislation which gives us a right to speak… or not…

21/09/2015 : Press release - Online activities of public service media: remit and financing - European Audiovisual Observatory publishes new IRIS Special report

ITV recently announced that they will fight UK government’s plans to modernise the licence fee to cover public service broadcast catch-up TV. This means that UK citizens will need to buy a TV licence to watch catch-up services provided by ITV, Channel 4 or Channel Five even if viewers do not consume BBC content. And of course the BBC itself is financed by this licence fee… The difficulty in deciding which online services receive public funding due to a public service remit is one of the major issues currently being tackled by EU governments. The European Audiovisual Observatory has just published a major new report giving invaluable background reading on the subject of Online activities of public service media: remit and financing.

This latest IRIS Special report has been prepared by the Saarbrücken-based Institute of European Media Law and brings together contributions from various authors.

A must-read analysis of the challenges currently facing PSM in their development of new on-line services

This latest Observatory publication can be purchased in our on-line shop here.

14/09/2015 : Press release - Territoriality and its Impact on the Financing of Audiovisual Works

- European Audiovisual Observatory publishes new IRIS Plus legal report

Free to download here

This new Observatory report  focuses on territoriality and its effects on financing the production and distribution of films and TV programmes in Europe. Undoubtedly one of the hottest legal topics at the moment, territoriality of copyright is creating a major media buzz in Europe as the EU’s disputed Digital Single Market initiative aims at freeing up barriers to the consumption of content. In the same report, the Observatory examines the territoriality issues surrounding the revision of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive. The current EU legal structure which allows international majors to set up where they wish, respecting the national legislation of the country of establishment due to the country of origin principle, while distributing content on a pan-European basis, is being challenged. Authored by Observatory Experts and Analysts, Maja Cappello, Francisco Cabrera-Blázquez, Sophie Valais and Christian Grece, this brand new report is clearly an essential “back to school” read…

17/06/2015 : Focus on Animation Report now free on line

The European Audiovisual Observatory presented the first results of the Mapping of the Animation Industry in Europe study, funded by Creative Europe, during the MIFA workshop held on 17 June 2015 and co-organised by the Observatory and the European Commission. The Focus on Animation report which results from the first phase of this research is now available free on line on the site of the European Commission HERE.

Link to press release HERE.