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IRIS 2012-6:1/23

Italy

Agcom Launches a Public Consultation with the View of Drawing up Guidelines for PSB Obligations

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Francesco Di Giorgi

Autorità per le garanzie nelle comunicazioni (AGCOM)

On 15 March 2012 the Autorità per le garanzie nelle comunicazioni (the Italian Communications Authority - Agcom) adopted Resolution no. 130/12/CONS, launching a public consultation with the view of drawing up guidelines on the obligations on public service broadcasting for the years 2013 -2015, pursuant to Article 45, paragraph 4 of the Italian AVMS Code (IRIS 2005-9/24 and IRIS 2010-2/25) according to which prior to each three-year renewal of the Contract of Service between RAI and the Ministry of Economic Development, Agcom, in consultation with the Ministry, shall lay down guidelines for the definition of further public service broadcasting obligations in addition to those already envisaged by the AVMS Code, by considering market development, technological progress and changing needs of a cultural nature, both at national and local level.

The current Contract of Service for 2010-2012, which was approved by a Ministerial Decree of 27 April 2011 and entered into force on 28 June 2011, is based on the guidelines approved by Agcom, in consultation with the Ministry, together with Resolution no. 614/09/CONS of 12 November 2009. The obligations as laid down in the applicable Service Agreement (2010-2012) have assumed a predominantly technical nature, stemming from the need to provide details concerning the complex process of the switching-over of analogue TV channels.

As switchover will be completed this year, the new guidelines will have to focus primarily on the supply side, as well as being in accordance with the attention paid in other European countries to the content of public service broadcasting. Due to the changes introduced by the digitization process, the next three years will accordingly be strategic in terms of content fruition and delivery on different distribution platforms where multimedia consumption is already a reality. In this transition phase a key role will have to be played by the public service broadcaster by ensuring the high quality and variety of programmes, attention to media literacy and the cultural divide.

The consultation includes questions related to the new services that may be delivered, the validity of the PSB core business as to its obligation to educate, inform and entertain, the investments in media education projects also with regard to the responsibilities of minors and parents, the access of programming by people with disabilities and the promotion of diversity and quality of programming that allows PSB to be identified as a specific brand.

References
Delibera n. 130/12/CONS “Avvio di una indagine conoscitiva propedeutica alla definizione delle linee-guida sul contenuto degli ulteriori obblighi del servizio pubblico generale radiotelevisivo per il triennio 2013-2015 ai sensi dell’art. 45, comma 4 del testo unico dei servizi di media audiovisivi e radiofonici” IT
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=15819
 
  Resolution No. 93/12/CONS Launching a preliminary investigation with a view to defining the guidelines on the content of any further obligations of public service broadcasting for the period 2013-2015 under Article 45, paragraph 4, of the Italian Code on audiovisual media and radio services, 15 March 2012