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IRIS 2012-3:1/19


New Audiovisual Legislation in the Basque Country

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Trinidad García Leiva

Universidad Carlos III, Madrid

On 8 November 2011, the Basque Government approved a decree that regulates audiovisual communications services within the Basque Autonomous Community. It implements the New General Law of Audiovisual Communications approved by the Spanish Parliament in 2010 (see IRIS 2010-4/21), replacing all prior legislation for the Basque audiovisual sector.

This new framework includes the liberalisation of audiovisual communication services, states that broadcasting licences will last for 15 years, instead of 10 years, and allows for more flexibility in their commercialisation after two years of being granted. It establishes the following guidelines to be observed when assessing the projects competing in radio and terrestrial television tenders: fostering of plurality in the audiovisual communication market, creation of employment and commitment to programming content in the Basque language (“euskera”).

Additionally, the decree determines that in the awarding of digital terrestrial television licences at least one will be reserved, in every broadcasting area, for transmissions in the Basque language only (as long as there are at least three licences to award). Conversely, in the case of FM radio, at least one third of frequencies will be reserved for transmissions in Basque only if there is a minimum of two licences to award and the broadcasting area covers more than 100,000 inhabitants.

Decreto 231/2011, de 8 de noviembre, sobre la Comunicación Audiovisual, BOPV Nº 222, de 23 de noviembre de 2011 ES
  Decree 231/2011 on Audiovisual Communication of 8 November, Official Journal of the Basque Country, Nº 222 of 23 November 2011