Brexit could lose UK over 1000 TV channels

Brexit could lose UK over 1000 TV channels

An Expert Media Partners (EMP) report has found that UK-based international broadcasters face very serious challenges in a post-Brexit world, and predicts that the consequent impact is likely to start being felt this summer. The UK is currently by far the biggest location in the EU for companies broadcasting television channels to other EU member states, but EMP research has identified that this preeminent position is now under threat.

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Whilst it isn’t usual to think of television channels as a commodity which countries export, in the case of the UK, exporting television channels is a very substantial business. The report states that the UK has a large domestic broadcasting market, a stable andwell-respected regulatory regime, good access to highly-skilled workers,availability of excellent post-production facilities and a range of satellite uplinks and technical transmission providers. A large part of the business activity that this industry supports is currently pan-European.

In analysing the potential consequences of Brexit, EMP looked closely at the EU’s Country of Origin (COO) principle which is enshrined in the Audio-Visual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) and creates a common area for broadcasters. Most experts and industry leaders we have consulted agree that any form of Brexit which puts the UK outside the AVMSD licensing regime is likely to threaten the status of the UK as a major television industry hub. EMP predicts that potentially over a thousand channels will look to leave the UK and meet the COO requirements of an alternative EU member state.

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EMP adds that it has found several countries already keen to attract broadcasters from the UK, and has also explored the potential for different options of satisfying the Country of Origin principle in those countries.

Speaking at the RTS London Conference in September 2016, Josh Berger, President & Managing Director, Warner Bros UK, Ireland & Spain, warned that a number of channels currently located and licensed in the UK may have to relocate to Europe following the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.

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“Many licensed services may have to move to Europe to continue to broadcast if a suitable licensing framework can’t be agreed.” he told delegates

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