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IRIS 2017-4:1/11


Extension of retention period for videos in ARD media library

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Ingo Beckendorf

Institute of European Media Law (EMR), Saarbrücken/Brussels

On 2 February 2017, after conducting a three-step test, the BR-Rundfunkrat (Broadcasting Council of Bayerische Rundfunk - BR) approved the telemedia concept “Alignment of the retention period for fictional format categories on DasErste.de with the ARD retention period concept”. In the test, which lasted more than 12 months, experts assessed whether the telemedia concept met the democratic, social, and cultural needs of society and promoted media competition, as well as studying its financial impact on the market.

Two factors determine for how long videos remain available in the ARD media library and whether a programme can be offered in the media library at all after it has been broadcast: firstly, the legal situation of the programme concerned (image and music rights, personality rights, licensing rights, and much more); and, secondly, the legal framework described in the Rundfunkstaatsvertrag (Inter-State Broadcasting Agreement).

In principle, within the ARD, BR has the primary responsibility for the telemedia offering of the website “DasErste.de”. In the future, television series and other entertainment programmes will remain available in the ARD media library for a much longer period of up to six months. Under the BR decision, fictional programmes will be stored in the ARD media library for the same period of time as other programmes. For example, daily entertainment programmes will be available for up to three months after they have been broadcast. Until now, they have only been available for a maximum of seven days. Fictional programmes produced in-house by the ARD will now be available to viewers for up to six months. These include weekly entertainment series that were previously only kept for a maximum of six weeks after broadcast. The same period applies to “other entertainment series that are especially likely to promote political and social debate and contribute to individual freedom of opinion”. In general, the ARD offers access to around 90% of all its programmes in its media library after they are broadcast. Meanwhile, almost all programmes can be watched live on the Internet, i.e. at the same time as they are broadcast (only a few foreign films are excluded). Viewers can scroll back for up to 30 minutes during “DasErste.de” live streaming so that they can catch up if they miss the start of a programme, even if it is not available via video-on-demand.

The next stage of the process is a legal examination by the Bayerische Staatsministerium für Bildung und Kultur, Wissenschaft und Kunst (Bavarian State Ministry of Education and Culture, Science and Art). If approved, the telemedia concept will be published in the Official Gazette. The BR Broadcasting Council will be responsible for permanently ensuring that the actual service matches the approved concept.

Pressemitteilung über den Beschluss des Rundfunkrats DE
  Press release on the Broadcasting Council’s decision