Latest news

Back When, how and where can we access European films and series? Release windows and territoriality in the spotlight...

The European Audiovisual Observatory publishes a new in-depth analysis of European media law
When, how and where can we access European films and series? Release windows and territoriality in the spotlight...

Download "Territoriality and release windows in the European audiovisual sector" here

 

We're looking at the rules in Europe concerning when, how and where we access our content.

The principle of release windows as well as the notion of territoriality (country by country distribution) have long been the cornerstone of the European financing and exploitation model for films and programmes. 

This new report - Territoriality and release windows in the European audiovisual sector - explores current EU legislation and market practice concerning release windows and territoriality - "the when, how and where" films and series may be made available to European audiences. Our report also draws in the views of the industry, very much impacted by any rules concerning these parameters. 
 
Chapter one sets the scene with a useful current definition of release windows. The authors explain the dramatic impact of the pandemic on the structure of release windows, given that cinema exploitation halted under lockdown and streaming consumption rocketed. An analysis of release windows post-COVID follows. This chapter also looks at the various factors influencing how well European content travels across borders.
 
Chapter two details the various EU legal texts which have a bearing on territoriality and release windows, especially copyright and competition law, and discusses the stakeholder dialogue on access to and availability of audiovisual content in the EU. 
 
Chapter three dives deeper into the different national rules applied to release windows throughout Europe. The length of release windows can be stipulated on a national level by legislation, in the rules of public funding bodies, for example, or indeed by case-by-case contractual arrangements or industry-wide agreements. The authors point to extreme differences in approach between the countries studied. Streamers in Bulgaria can show a film just three months after cinema release, for example, whereas the delay in Belgium is a minimum of 26 months. This chapter describes in detail legislative provisions in France and Bulgaria, and public funding rules in Austria, Germany, Ireland, and Italy. The authors also include an overview table of the various national approaches throughout Europe as an annex. 
 
Chapter four takes stock of views expressed by the industry on both the territoriality and the release windows questions. In particular, this chapter details the replies from nine different stakeholders to the European Commission’s request for proposals on how to improve the online availability of and cross border access to films and programmes throughout Europe. 
 
Chapter five walks us through recent EU case law in this field and chapter six gives us a state of play overview in which the authors conclude: "Maybe both territoriality and windows are simply never-ending stories because they are constants in the complex equation that is the European audiovisual sector."
 
A must-read new free report to understand the current situation in Europe regarding territoriality and release windows. 


 

Strasbourg 6 July 2023
  • Diminuer la taille du texte
  • Augmenter la taille du texte
  • Imprimer la page
Other News

The European Audiovisual Observatory has just published a new report on audiovisual works broadcast on European television channels.

Over 27 000 different films broadcast by European Union TV channels in 2022

8 February 2024 Strasbourg

This report provides an analysis of the offer of films and TV content in 2022.

Read More

The European Audiovisual Observatory has just published a new report on Female professionals in European TV/SVOD fiction production.

Women working in European TV/SVOD fiction get 28% of assignments

6 February 2024 Strasbourg

This report provides an analysis of gender inequality for 6 categories of off-screen staff.

Read More

The European Audiovisual Observatory publishes a new free analysis of the remuneration of creators in Europe in the licensing process

Fair remuneration for audiovisual authors and performers in licensing agreements

1 February 2024 Strasbourg

How can European law ensure a fair deal for our authors and performers in the audiovisual sector?

Read More

Featured online service

Yearbook online

A unique source of data on:
• television • film • video • on-demand audiovisual services in 42 European countries and Morocco

  • 400 tables featuring more than 25 000 figures
  • 43 country fact sheets
  • The current edition 2023 covers the data range 2018 to 2022

More information and subscriptions available here

FEATURED NEWSLETTER

Monthly Wrap Up

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to get links to our latest film, TV and VOD publications.

You’ll also get advance invitations to our forthcoming events. Rounding off with links to our recent conference presentations. What’s not to like?

To join our mailing list:

 email Alison Hindhaugh

  telephone on + 33 (0) 3 90 21 60 10 (direct)

TRACKING THE REVISED AVMSD TRANSPOSITION

We're tracking the transposition of the Revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive in the EU

Latest update 13/12/2023

 

Promotion of European works

Latest update 31/07/2023

Events and Diary

Visit our Events page for up to date details of Observatory events, plus information on events attended by our talented team.

Click here

Watch Our films

Visit our YouTube channel to watch our latest films and conferences.

Click here

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA

         

  Watch our videos