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IRIS 2010-6:1/30


CSA Clarifies Regulation of On-demand Audiovisual Media Services

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Amélie Blocman


On 20 April 2010 the Conseil Supérieur de l'Audiovisuel (audiovisual regulatory body - CSA) published the summary of the consultation it had embarked on in June 2009 concerning the regulation of on-demand audiovisual media services. The text lays down general guidelines, with details of interactive applications and the associated data for television and radio services, the procedures for authorising the new services, and interactive advertising. One of the topics concerns catch-up TV and the way it is made available to the public. To promote its development, the CSA has decided to authorise the showing of programmes before they are shown on TV. It also feels that the economic aspects of the offer of catch-up TV (whether a charge is made or not) could be different from those of the channel to which it is attached. The other audiovisual communication services, such as video on demand via downloading or the “electronic programme guide” (EPG) - an interactive menu accessible on the television screen permitting consultation of the list of programmes being broadcast at any time on the various channels), could not be authorised on DTV until after a procedure of calling for applicants, on a radio-electric resource identified by the CSA. The CSA recommends that the economic stakeholders draft a white paper on the EPG by the end of the year, to constitute the first stage in launching a call for applicants.

The summary presented also broaches the subject of the associated data intended to supplement or enrich DTV television services. This data could be broadcast on the radio-electric resource attributed to the channel, but the conventions of these would have to be amended. The CSA is in favour of carrying out prior experiments in order to identify requirements and use in terms of resources. It also notes that since the on-demand audiovisual media services raise specific issues concerning the protection of children and programme ethics, it will shortly adopt a deliberation on the subject. On interactive advertising, the CSA believes it is necessary to maintain the separation between advertising and editorial content. Lastly, it would like to see legislation providing for accessibility to these services for people with impaired sight or hearing, and for its competence in settling disputes to be extended to on-demand audiovisual media services; the opinion of the independent agency in charge of regulating telecommunications in France (ARCEP) may well be requested.

Synthèse de la consultation relative au déploiement des services relevant de l’article 30-5 de la loi du 30 septembre 1986, aux données associées aux services de la TNT et de la RNT ainsi qu’à la régulation des SMAD FR
  Summary of consultation on deployment of services covered by Article 30-5 of the Act of 30 September 1986 to data associated with digital radio and television services, and the regulation of on-demand audiovisual media services