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EBU: Exclude AV Services from Transatlantic Talks

Organization says audiovisual services industry would be damaged by free trade

The European Broadcasting Union has expressed concern that the inclusion of audiovisual services in the European Union’s transatlantic trade negotiations would harm the audiovisual industry and negatively impact European cultural diversity.

According to the organization, EBU members — public service media — also support culture and diversity through TV, radio, film and multimedia programs.

“We need the EU to defend the interests of the European audiovisual sector, and to ensure that the mandate given to the European Commission for negotiating on behalf of the E.U. takes those interests into account,” said Ingrid Deltenre, director general of the EBU.

The EBU argues that the U.S. audiovisual industry has an in-built competitive advantage with its increased economies of scale and higher investment capabilities on average. Also, in 2010, the United States exported $7.5 billion of AV services to the E.U.; in contrast, the E.U. exported just $1.8 billion. Additionally, the group is concerned U.S. companies may be entitled to E.U. and local support but exempt from regulation. The EBU says these factors indicate that trade liberalization would offer opportunities for the U.S., without affording advantages to European companies.

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