The advent of Internet-connected TV poses challenges in the areas of media pluralism, protection for minors, advertising in the media and the diversity of European works. A report voted by the Culture Committee on Tuesday highlights the dangers of not having a coherent regulatory framework to meet them.
"The progressive convergence of differing modes of media transmission demands that we update today's rules to keep pace with technological progress. A European framework must offer solid concepts", said rapporteur Petra Kammerevert (S&D, DE), adding that "Our common aim must be to safeguard the diversity and quality of media in Europe".
With more than 40 million hybrid devices installed in Europe by the end of 2012, Internet-connected TV is bringing in new international players. Traditional TV and radio stations face direct competition from major on-demand video platforms or paying TV channels such as YouTubeTV.
The report stresses the need to ensure balanced and fair competition between European content suppliers, which are governed by EU legislation, and major international media platforms, which currently are not.
Diversity of supply and user protection
Rules governing advertising in the audiovisual media and the protection of minors do not currently apply to the Internet. MEPs therefore ask the European Commission to assess the desirability of an appropriate European framework.
Content quality and integrity should be the same, whether it is broadcast or supplied by a media platform.
To ensure that commercial offerings do not displace quality content which is free and represents Europe's cultural diversity, network operators should distribute such content without discrimination on their platforms.
MEPs also say that EU citizens should be protected against any automatic profiling. Personal data should not be used without the explicit consent of the service user.
The report was adopted by 24 votes to 4, with one abstention.
In the chair: Doris PACK (EPP, DE)