Dec 012012

With all the talk of new satellite signals, and potential loss of UK satellite TV channels in Spain, once again, there is talk that restricting TV signals from one EU country to another is against EU rule / law.

The “rule” often quoted is the “Television Without Frontiers” Directive.

Unfortunately, many people (and installers!) take the title too literally.

And this “Television Without Frontiers” Directive was actually never law – however its updated version “Audio Visual Media Service” Directive is.

The directive provides guidance as to how to standardize the rules regulations and governing of European broadcasters.

For example, how many minutes of adverts are allowed in an hour, rules on product placement and rules on violence on TV during hours when children may be watching.

There is nothing in this EU Directive that states that people should be able to watch all of their own language television channels in any member state. Perhaps they are getting confused with the section that states that EU countries cannot block transmission from other EU countries?

However, there is a rule under the EUs Freedom of Information, which says that all EU members should have the right to access news and information in any EU country in their own language. It could be argued that this particular rule is actually complied by the UK by channels like BBC World News, and Sky News International, which are available for free around the EU, on “small” satellite dishes.

So, despite what you may hear or be told, there is no EU rule or law that states all EU countries TV channels must be available for free, with easy reception, to all other EU countries.