An important agreement for the development of co-production projects between Rai and France Télévisions has been presented this morning at Rai headquarters in Viale Mazzini. The agreement has been signed by the highest levels of the public broadcasters (Italian Chiarman Monica Maggioni, Italian CEO Mario Orfeo and French Chairman Xavier Couture) to enrich their own national and international TV schedule with new content, giving rise to a partnership for the publishing establishment of new projects starting from their creative process.

These agreements are unfortunately threatened by a proposal for a regulation extending the “country-of-origin principle” to online and optional services. The proposal is under discussion at present at the European Parliament.

In summary, if this proposal for a regulation were adopted, a licensee broadcaster of TV use rights of an audiovisual work for the territory of a Member State could freely make available to the public the work online in simulcast and catch-up mode (which means simultaneously or for a limited period after its airtime) in every country of the European Economic Area. This broadcaster could also allow every consumer living in this area to access the work via the internet, regardless of the licensing territory.

The first consequence would concern the exclusive territorial agreements within the Community, which would be compromised with serious repercussions on business models of the European production and distribution industry since the exclusive territorial agreements are the keystone of the financing, production and content distribution system.