On the occasion of the Italian Presidency of the European Audiovisual Observatory, today 17th June, 2019, the MiBAC and the EAO held a conference in Rome on the topic of the regulation of media windows.

The European audiovisual market is facing many challenges and, among these, there is the need to define a common framework for regulating the windows of exploitation of cinematographic works. In fact, each film follows its own route that passes through different channels (generally starting from cinema theater and getting to TV, sometimes via streaming platforms) and which has different time management depending on the country of distribution.

Fisrt of all, Susanne Nikoltchev, Executive Director of EAO, underlined that “Italy is a very supportive member of the Observatory and that it is the right place at the right time to talk about the topic of chronological exploitation of audiovisual works”.

In fact, the Italian situation, as is known, sees a historic absence of audience in cinema theaters during the summer months. In this regard Mario Turetta, General Director of Cinema-MiBAC (Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities), recalled Moviement, the project that aims to expand the windows even during the summer. The main trends in the other countries were then presented by Maja Cappello and Gilles Fontaine, Head of the Department respectively for legal information and marketing information of EAO.

The conference was closed by a Round Table moderated by the MIA Market Head of Doc Division Marco Spagnoli on the issue of the lack of homogeneity concerning media windows across Europe. The participants to the dicussion were: James Butler (TBC, United Kingdom), Iole Maria Giannattasio (DG Cinema-MiBAC, Italy), Jérémie Kessler (CNC, France), Inge Welbergen (MINOWC, Netherlands) and Bruno Zambardino (DG Cinema-MiBAC, Italy). In general they agreed on the need of harmonization of rules at European level, especially considering the ever increasing international co-productions and the ever-wider circulation of audiovisual works in Europe.

Among the reported regulatory models there is also the Italian one introduced in November 2018. Following a controversy about the simultaneous release in theatres and on Netflix of the film On My Skin, a ministerial decree enforced a time lag of 105 days between the theatrical release and its availability on other platforms.