From UEFA to Sky to the Premier League, Serie A and La Liga: 619 clubs and institutions have signed an appeal against the abolition of geo-blocking. Italian football news site Calcio e Finanza report that on 13 December the European Parliament will vote to remove territorial exclusivity on audiovisual content, an issue that closely concerns many companies and institutions:
“The film, cinema and audiovisual industry in Europe jointly urges the European Parliament to vote in favour of culture on 13 December 2023 by opposing the demand to include audiovisual services in the scope of the EU Regulation on geo-blocking in the future. ‘Rejecting the demand to include audiovisual services in the future is a vote in favour of preserving cultural and linguistic diversity in Europe,’ reads the appeal signed by 619 companies and institutions.
“A ban on the use of geo-blocking technology to support territorial exclusivity for film and audiovisual content and services would seriously jeopardise the creative and economic sustainability of the film and audiovisual sector in Europe. It would lead to a decrease in the number and variety of films and audiovisual content produced, with a more limited range of languages. Distribution and circulation would be drastically reduced across the EU. This would have a direct and negative impact on consumer welfare: a significant reduction of options in terms of content, distribution and access options, as well as an increase in prices’.
“Surely this cannot be the desired outcome. We therefore urge you to vote for the amendments in plenary that ensure the continued exclusion of audiovisual services from the Geo-blocking Regulation. The entire film, cinema and audiovisual sector in Europe is counting on you to ensure that the European Parliament does not jeopardise a EUR 47 billion sector consisting largely of SMEs and individual creators, which represents more than 2 million jobs in the EU. This would also lead to a reduction in access to content for European citizens,’ the appeal concludes.
In particular, among others, the appeal was signed by:
DFL (the German football federation);
ECA (European Clubs Association);
Mediaset Spain (MFE, the parent company also of Mediaset in Italy, does not appear);
Lega Serie A;