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Audiovisual Media Services Directive


The Audiovisual Media Services Directive has two purposes which are as follows:

  • To provide a set of common rules for the European TV market.
  • To ensure the free movement of broadcasting services throughout the EU.

The Directive amended the Television Without Frontiers Directive in a number of areas including the following:

  • Advertising rules about "unhealthy" foods and drinks in children's shows.
  • Promoting ease of access to media for persons with a hearing or visual impairment.

The Directive includes provisions regarding the following

  • Quotas for European shows on TV.
  • Rules about the re-use of short news reports.
  • The designation of certain events as events of major importance to society and, as such, they are free-to-air.
The Broadcasting Act 2009 transposed the TV elements of the Directive into Irish law. The remaining on-demand elements were transposed by S.I. No. 258 of 2010 and S.I. No. 247 of 2012.


The European Commission launched a public consultation seeking feedback on the current AVMS Directive on 6 July 2015.

The Commission published its proposal to amend the Directive on 25 May 2016.