The needs of Europe’s audiovisual, creative and cultural ecosystem should be a top priority of the EU’s Spectrum Management Policy – 22/10/2015

One year after the Lamy report’s publication and shortly before the World Radiocommunications Conference 2015, senior representatives from broadcasting, network infrastructure, trade unions, viewer groups and media organisations met in Brussels to engage with Pascal Lamy and EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger on spectrum policy and the future of Europe’s audiovisual, creative and cultural sector.

BRUSSELS, 22 October 2015
Frequencies are at the heart of a future proof audiovisual, radio and live performance sector; with spectrum as a core driver for cultural diversity, creative jobs and growth in the Digital Single Market. This was the Wider Spectrum Group’s message today in Brussels, ahead of major international policy decisions next month and the elaboration of a long-term EU strategy for the UHF band next year.

Today’s discussions, featuring Günther Oettinger, Pascal Lamy, and senior representatives of Europe’s cultural and audiovisual industries clearly showed that spectrum allocation has a wider impact across the European audiovisual sector and that it is at the heart of a media, creative and cultural economic sector that is a leader in terms of GDP and jobs .

Representatives of the Wider Spectrum Group called on EU policy-makers to:
•    Acknowledge the business, investment and funding models to ensure sustainable levels of efforts and investments by enterprises and workers in production, infrastructure and innovation;
•    Uphold the importance of local / national works as supporting employment, cultural diversity and media plurality;
•    Enshrine guaranteed access to critical resources such as spectrum for services that sustain Europe’s creative and cultural industry.

The Conference entitled Free-to-Air | Free to Create | Free to Grow allowed voices from diverse sectors and communities to call for a EU spectrum policy that takes a comprehensive approach to the realities of content production and distribution and the wider downstream impact of spectrum allocation.

The Wider Spectrum Group acknowledged the wisdom of the Lamy report’s recommendations for a balanced approach to spectrum allocation. As such, the Group emphasised the crucial role of Digital Terrestrial Television (covering 250M EU citizens), free-to-air radio (80% of EU citizens listen to at least 2 to 3 hours  per day), PMSE  and live performance in Europe’s ability to continue to create and distribute world class content.

Europe’s unique AV, radio and live performance model is built on cultural diversity and media pluralism and is Europe’s greatest competitive asset in the global digital race. Spectrum allocation is one of the key foundations supporting a virtuous cycle of public access, broadcasting and infrastructure innovation, local investments in works and jobs, and diversity of content.

Pascal Lamy stated that “The European audiovisual model is specific compared to other models, in terms of free access, territorial differences, user friendliness and creativity […]The consistency of spectrum policies needs to be ensured at EU level. The good news is that the 20-25-30 model is now the backbone of EU spectrum policy”.

Günther Oettinger stated that “The creation and distribution of audiovisual content is one of the main drivers of the digital economy […] Reaching 250 million Europeans, Digital Terrestrial Television is an integral part of the European audiovisual model”.

About the Wider Spectrum Group
The Wider Spectrum Group (WSG) brings together several organisations representing civil society as well as employee and employer representatives. Together these organisations represent the interests of listeners and viewers, workers and businesses in the field of audiovisual, radio, live performance, programme-making and special events. WSG members share a common view on the need to ensure European and national policies regarding frequency allocation preserve the potential for European growth, innovation and sustainable employment. Read our Shared Vision here | See mentions of the WSG in the press here | See our most recent communications here

For general media enquiries please contact Greg Polad, Wider Spectrum Group Coordinator, greg.polad @

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