Overview[edit | edit source]

The European Convention on Transfrontier Television (ETS No.132) lays down a number of rules for the free and unhindered circulation of television programmes across the countries concerned. The Convention was the first legal instrument to define at the wider European level a number of common principles for the transfrontier circulation of television programmes. The objectives and principles and the field of application of the Convention and the Directive are nearly the same.

The Convention applies to all transfrontier programmes regardless of the technical means of transmission used (satellite, cable, terrestrial transmitters, etc.). Its main provisions cover:

  • freedom of expression, reception, and retransmission;
  • right of reply (transfrontier character of this right and other comparable recourse);
  • pornography, violence, incitement to racial hatred, etc. (it forbids such acts), and youth protection;
  • the screening of European works, for a majority of screen time, where practicable;
  • the screening of cinema films (normally not until 2 years after first showing — 1 year in the case of films co-produced by the broadcaster);
  • advertising standards (e.g. prohibition on the advertising of tobacco and medicines and medical treatments available only on prescription, restrictions on the advertising of certain products such as alcoholic beverages);
  • advertising time (normally not more than 15% of daily transmission time and not more than 20% of any one hour period);
  • advertising breaks (for example, twice during a ninety minute feature film, none during a news or current affairs programme lasting less than 30 minutes);
  • programme sponsorship rules.

In 2007 the revision of the Convention was initiated with the aim to align its provisions with the new rules set at the EU level by the AVMSD.

Source[edit | edit source]

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