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New "Television without frontiers" Directive

The European Commission, DG X, has published an unofficial consolidated version of the revised "Television without frontiers" Directive, following the adoption on 30 June 1997 of the Directive amending the original 1989 Directive.

Many of the amendments are designed to take a...
The European Commission, DG X, has published an unofficial consolidated version of the revised "Television without frontiers" Directive, following the adoption on 30 June 1997 of the Directive amending the original 1989 Directive.

Many of the amendments are designed to take account of changes in the market for television services since 1989, particularly those which arise from technological developments. However, the scope of the Directive has not been extended to cover new on-line services such as video on-demand.

Other amendments covers areas such as improving and refining definitions, introducing rules on tele-shopping and increasing protection for children. The European Parliament voted to introduce rules relating to the broadcasting of major events of public interest, in particular sporting events. These are designed to ensure that such events are not limited to pay-per-view channels. In order to take account of the different national interests in this field, Member States have agreed to respect lists drawn up by each individual state.

The Commission has agreed to complete a study into filtering systems (v-chips) which enable parents to control the programmes watched by children.

The Member States have 18 months in which to implement the necessary changes in national legislation. The amended Directive will come into force at the end of December 1998.

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