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Global Media and Communications Watch The International Legal Blog for the Tech, Media and Telecoms Industry

Category Archives: Broadcasting

Posted in Advertising, Broadcasting, Entertainment & Content, Intellectual Property, Internet, Technology Photo of Eugene LowPhoto of Anthonia Ghalamkarizadeh

Webinar: From homes to stadiums – Brand presence in esports

On 27 and 28 March, our global IP team will take a look at some of the emerging opportunities and risks for brand owners exploring opportunities in the esports market: from innovative advertising and marketing activities during tournaments and within games, sponsorship of tournaments or teams, to merchandise and fan items (see earlier post here). Esports refers to competitive video gaming at a professional level, with competitors playing matches in arenas with huge live and online audiences, accompanied by match commentators. The buzz and spectacle accompanying those matches, as well as

Posted in Broadcasting, Copyright, Cybersecurity, Data Protection & Privacy, Digital Single Market (EU), e-commerce, Policy & Regulation, Technology, Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Peter WattsPhoto of Penny Thornton

The Brexit White Paper: A digital Brexit?

The UK Government’s White Paper sets out detailed proposals for the UK’s relationship with the EU following Brexit. As described in our dissection of the document as a whole, the White Paper sees the digital economy as an area of global opportunity for the UK.   So what does the Government have to say about sector? The White Paper’s distinguishes physical goods from the digital and services sectors. Integrated supply chains and the challenges of the Irish border have driven an approach to physical goods which maintains a high degree of

Posted in Broadcasting, Digital Single Market (EU), Policy & Regulation

Webinar: TV regulation in a digital age

The trialogue between the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Member States on the revision of the Audio-Visual Media Services (AVMS) Directive is currently in progress, after several years of work by all parties to update the text of the Directive. This update is timely, given the profound and rapid changes in how TV and other video content is delivered and consumed throughout the EU. In this context, Analysys Mason and Hogan Lovells are publishing a white paper, “TV regulation in a digital age”, which grapples with the changes

Posted in Broadcasting, Digital Single Market (EU) Photo of Winston MaxwellPhoto of Marco BerliriPhoto of Alberto BellanPhoto of Eva Vonau

DSM Watch: EU Commission proposes expanded audiovisual regulation

On 25th of May the European Commission published the draft for the amended Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMS Directive), which regulates broadcasting and on-demand audiovisual media services in Europe. The Commission’s draft extends the scope of audiovisual regulation to cover new online services. Regulation of internet video channels Currently the AVMS Directive only covers content that is comparable “to the form and content of television broadcasting” due to the definition of “programme” in the Directive. In the draft for the amended AVMS Directive this passage has been deleted while simultaneously

Posted in Broadcasting

Hong Kong’s first antitrust judgment since the new competition regime’s entry into force

On 29 January 2016, Hong Kong’s Court of First Instance quashed a 2013 decision (“Decision”) by the Communications Authority (“CA”) – upheld by the Chief Executive In Council (“CEIC”) – against Television Broadcasters (“TVB”), primarily on the grounds that the CA and CEIC are inherently political entities lacking objective impartiality as decision makers due to their concurrent policy, advisory and executive roles. While the Decision was ultimately set aside on constitutional grounds, as the CA and CEIC were not found to be an independent and impartial tribunal, the Honourable Justice

Posted in Broadcasting, Digital Single Market (EU), Policy & Regulation Photo of Peter WattsPhoto of Winston MaxwellPhoto of Jan BlockxPhoto of Matthew Levitt

DSM Watch: Commission publishes geo-blocking issues paper

The European Commission’s newly published geo-blocking issues paper concludes that geo-blocking practices are widespread across sales of both consumer goods and digital content. The Commission has reconfirmed its intention to look carefully at such practices under the EU competition rules particularly where underpinned by agreements. This suggests a range of distribution and licensing arrangements are likely to be subject to further scrutiny. However, the Commission has also re-emphasised the principal that unilateral decisions to limit distribution which are not implemented through agreements are not generally concerns for competition law. This suggests that

Posted in Broadcasting, Internet Photo of Winston MaxwellPhoto of Camille Pecnard

French Court: Important ruling on ‘must carry’ override issue in real-time streaming case

Leaving in place the lower court’s €1million damages award, the Paris Court of Appeals recently held that the live streaming website “PlayTV” infringed both the broadcaster’s “neighboring rights” in the broadcast, and the copyright in the underlying programs. This part of the decision is not a surprise. It confirms that picking up broadcast signals, and making the programs available via streaming, requires authorization of the broadcaster.  “PlayTV” had argued that it had the right and obligation to retransmit the signals under France’s “must-carry” rules.  The court disagreed, pointing out that

Posted in Advertising, Broadcasting, Digital Single Market (EU) Photo of Peter WattsPhoto of Charlie HawesPhoto of Oliver Wilson

CJEU Debates Limits on TV Advertising in Europe

In its decision in Sanoma Media v Viestintävirasto the Court of Justice of the European Union signals a technical but potentially significant clarification in the application of the Audio Visual Media Services (AVMS) Directive. This may trigger some national regulators to re-examine their approach and some broadcasters may, in turn, face pressure to adjust the amount of advertising content within their schedules or their presentation of that content. The Directive, currently subject to possible review as part of the Digital Single Market initiative, is the foundation of much of the

Posted in Broadcasting, Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Federico Hernández Arroyo

TMT Deal Trends in Mexico

As in the U.S. and other European countries, the Mexican telecommunications and broadcasting market has been very active in M&A deals. Just over two years ago, a major constitutional reform in telecommunications entered into force and the new law is reaching its first anniversary. This new regulatory framework has lifted many entry barriers, including removing the 49% restriction of foreign investment in telecoms services, and granted more certainty to large and small local and international companies to invest in Mexico. Click here for our recent update on Mexico TMT deals,

Posted in Broadcasting, Internet, Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Logan BreedPhoto of Meghan Rissmiller

US antitrust lessons from the proposed Comcast/TWC merger

Comcast’s failed acquisition of Time Warner Cable (“TWC”) presents a lesson in the types of antitrust harms that merger enforcers in the United States are willing to pursue. Using traditional “horizontal” merger analysis, the combination would have resulted in almost no reduction of head-to-head competition, as there were very few geographic areas in which the two companies were head-to-head rivals.  Nevertheless, the enforcers, the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division (“DOJ”) and the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”), which have concurrent jurisdiction to review communications mergers, took a broader view of how

Posted in Broadcasting, Copyright, Data Protection & Privacy, Digital Single Market (EU), e-commerce, Internet, Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Mark TaylorPhoto of Alexandra Grundy

Europe’s Digital Single Market Strategy – a focus on Pillar 3

In this post (the last in this series), we focus on the initiatives introduced under the third pillar of the European Commission’s Digital Single Market Strategy: Maximising the growth potential of the European Digital Economy The third pillar is built around the recognition of the pervasive nature of digital technology, and that soon all industry sectors will be digitised to some extent. The Commission is thus concerned by the need for Europe to maintain its competitiveness in this area, and so under the third pillar it is seeking to optimise

Posted in Broadcasting, Copyright, Data Protection & Privacy, Digital Single Market (EU), e-commerce, Internet, Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Mark TaylorPhoto of Alexandra Grundy

Europe’s Digital Single Market Strategy – a focus on Pillar 2

On 6 May 2015, the European Commission published its Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe. The Strategy sets out a total of 16 initiatives under 3 pillars which lay the groundwork for Europe’s digital future. In this post (the third in a series following our overview last week), we focus on the initiatives introduced under the second pillar: Creating the right conditions for digital networks and services to flourish. While Pillar 1 focuses on removing cross-border barriers, the Commission also recognises that Europe’s network infrastructure is key to a successful

Posted in Broadcasting, Copyright, Data Protection & Privacy, e-commerce, Internet, Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Mark TaylorPhoto of Alexandra Grundy

Europe’s Digital Single Market Strategy – a focus on Pillar 1

On 6 May 2015, the European Commission published its Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe. The Strategy sets out a total of 16 initiatives under 3 pillars which lay the groundwork for Europe’s digital future. Following our overview last week, in this post we focus on the initiatives introduced under the first pillar: Better access for consumers and businesses to online goods and services across Europe. The Commission’s aim with this pillar appears to be to break down existing obstacles which prevent cross-border online activity. It hopes that this will

Posted in Broadcasting, Copyright, Data Protection & Privacy, Digital Single Market (EU), e-commerce, Internet, Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Mark TaylorPhoto of Alexandra Grundy

European Commission publishes its Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe

On 6 May 2015, the European Commission published its Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe. The Strategy sets out a total of 16 initiatives under 3 pillars (based upon key areas for action identified by the Commission earlier this year) which lay the groundwork for Europe’s digital future. The three pillars are: 1.  Better access for consumers and businesses to online goods and services across Europe Focusing on the need to provide businesses, particularly entrepreneurs, with new opportunities to scale up across Europe, the Commission seeks with this pillar to

Posted in Advertising, Broadcasting

Poland: New bill on the advertising of junk food to children

The Polish Ministry of Culture is currently working on a set of amendments to the laws on TV and radio broadcasting. The planned amendments will include a full ban on the advertising of unhealthy food to children under the age of 12. The amendments are yet to be approved by Parliament, but have already been deemed part of a general move, in Poland, aimed at limiting children’s access to products considered to be unhealthy and which lead to child obesity, as well as other related diseases. The Polish parliament has recently

Posted in Broadcasting, Internet, Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband

UK: A New Chief Executive for Ofcom at a Pivotal Time for the Telecoms and Media Industry

After Ed Richards announced in October 2014 that he would step down as Ofcom Chief Executive at the end of the year, the hunt for his successor was on and in late December 2014, the Ofcom Board announced the appointment of Sharon White as Chief Executive. Steve Unger, Ofcom’s Strategy head, is acting as interim chief executive until Ms White will joins Ofcom in late March 2015, at what will be a pivotal time for the regulator in the UK.  Among the sensitive matters likely to be awaiting her attention

Posted in Advertising, Broadcasting, Policy & Regulation

Poland: The self-regulation of major broadcasters and bill concerning the ban on junk food advertising

On 29 October 2014, a group of major Polish broadcasters, including TVN, Polsat, TVP (the Polish national broadcaster) and ITI Neovision entered into a self-regulation agreement on the advertising of foods and drinks to children below the age of 12. The agreement was drafted and executed in cooperation with representatives of the National Broadcasting Council (the Polish media regulator), and the Advertising Council (a reputable NGO dealing with ethics in advertising). The broadcasters undertook that from 1 January 2015 no programmes directed at children under the age of 12 can be

Posted in Advertising, Broadcasting, Copyright, Data Protection & Privacy, Defamation, e-commerce, Entertainment & Content, Internet, Licensing, Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband

Launching: LimeGreen IP News

Hogan Lovells’ Intellectual Property, Media and Technology team is excited to announce the launch of LimeGreen IP News. Complementing our LimeGreen IP know-how site, this new online news platform is designed not only to provide you with detailed discussion on recent case law and decisions but also to provide the latest business critical IP trends and issues from around the globe. To sign up to free alerts from LimeGreen IP News click here to be taken to our subscription page, where you can select to receive all content, or specify your areas of interest (eg patents, trademarks, copyright

Posted in Advertising, Broadcasting, Policy & Regulation Photo of Natalia Gulyaeva

Pay-TV businesses affected by changes in Russian advertising laws

On 1 January 2015 amendments to the Russian Federal law “On advertising” No 38 of 13 March 2006 will come into force. The main change is prohibition of advertisement on Pay-TV channels and/or channels that use technical decoding devices. The law does not apply to Free-TV channels. The amendments affect all Pay-TV channels notwithstanding the country of origin. The Russian national Pay-TV channels (including those owned by the state) are equally affected. This impending prohibition is bad news for the Russian Pay-TV sector, which does not usually make large profits

Posted in Broadcasting, Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Federico Hernández Arroyo

The challenges of the new telecommunications and broadcasting law in Mexico

The new President of Mexico Peña Nieto started work on 1 December 2012. The following day, the three main political parties executed the so-called “Pact for Mexico”, which contained several commitments including the reform of the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors. On 11 June 2013, an historic constitutional reform in telecommunications and broadcasting was published after a fast-track process of just three months. The main purpose of the reform was to enhance competition in the telecommunications and broadcasting markets and to provide for the publication of a new convergent law on

Posted in Advertising, Broadcasting, Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband

Spain’s largest pay-TV broadcaster, DTS, appeals judgment of the General Court of the CJEU backing Spanish ‘telecom tax’

Spain’s largest broadcaster is seeking to annul Spanish taxes on over-the-air television. In 2009, the Spanish government imposed a levy on revenues of telecom operators (0.9%), pay-TV companies (1.5%) and free-to-air commercial broadcasters (3%) to finance the cost of an advertising ban imposed on public broadcaster Corporación de Radio y Televisión Española (RTVE). In 2010, the EU Commission approved the tax-based funding system, alleging it didn’t violate state aid rules prohibiting subsidies that distort competition, as there was no over-compensation and no direct link between the tax and RTVE’s financing.

Posted in Broadcasting, Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Trey Hanbury

Rewriting the U.S. Communications Act for the 21st century

The primary law in the United States governing the telecommunications industry is the Communications Act of 1934 (the “Act”).[1] Congress adopted the Act during the Great Depression, at a time when the latest consumer technology was broadcast radio, and last updated the law nearly twenty years ago, when most people accessed the Internet using dial-up and “smartphones” were still science fiction.[2] The Communications Act has strained to keep up with the incredible changes in the telecommunications landscape in the last eighty years, and rumors of a “rewrite” of the Act

Posted in Broadcasting, Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Trey Hanbury

USA: Next Steps in the FCC’s Incentive Auction – A Preview of the Seven Near-Term Releases

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) is deep in the midst of planning the world’s first broadcast incentive auction, currently slated for mid-2015.  The auction will give over-the-air television broadcasters an opportunity to sell their valuable spectrum rights in a reverse auction process, and the FCC will then repackage this cleared spectrum and auction it to broadband wireless companies, enabling them to better meet consumer’s exploding demand for wireless data.  The Commission issued initial rules for the auction in its Report and Order in May of this year, but its work is far from

Posted in Broadcasting, Licensing, Policy & Regulation, Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Mark BrennanPhoto of Michele FarquharPhoto of Ari FitzgeraldPhoto of Trey HanburyPhoto of Federico Hernández Arroyo

The new Mexican Federal Telecommunications and Broadcasting Law

As part of the constitutional reform in telecommunications matters published on 11 June 2013 (the Constitutional Reform), the new Federal Telecommunications and Broadcasting Law (the Law) was finally published on 14 July, and went into effect this past 13 August. The new Law establishes a new regulatory framework in the telecommunications and broadcasting sector in Mexico, which contains the principles based on the Constitutional Reform, whose principal objectives are: the creation of more rights, the promotion of competition, and the provision of better services at lower prices. Additionally, along with