Regulation Made Simple

Mobile TV and IPTV – The key regulatory issues for new audiovisual platforms

18-01-2007 | Brussels, Belgium

Organizer : Cullen International

Technological advancement and the convergence of telecommunications, IT and broadcasting are transforming the audiovisual landscape. Audiovisual content is now transmitted over an increasing number of platforms and devices. Consumers have gained in choice, interactivity and control. New offerings such as triple-play or even quadruple-play are fast emerging. At a time when the existing EU regulatory framework is being reviewed, this timely half-day conference will examine its impact, now and in the future, on distributors of audiovisual content, including over new platforms, such as DSL, FTTH and mobile networks.
The conference will provide a practical insight into how national regulators treat new audiovisual media services. It will discuss whether obligations are being imposed on distributors of audiovisual content and, more generally, any specific regulatory questions that have emerged. Key industry players will share their first-hand experience in launching these new services and advise whether regulation has helped or hindered their business.

Conference programme

13:30 - 14:00 Registration and refreshments
14:00 – 14:10 Welcome and introduction
14:10 – 14:30 Keynote address
14:30-16:00 The EU perspective

Audiovisual content distribution is regulated by a number of EU directives and in particular the Electronic Communications Package and the Television Without Frontiers Directive. The session will look at the relationship between these directives, in their current and future versions, and their effect on new distributors such as mobile operators and IP TV providers. In particular, we will examine the consistency of the overall EU regulatory framework and whether it creates the potential for legal uncertainty which could possibly hamper the development of innovative new services.

One of the key questions will be to see if these new distributors could be considered as ‘media service providers’ and therefore be potentially subject to obligations on protection of minors, promotion of European works and advertising. We will also discuss whether the distinction between linear and non-linear services is future-proof and practical for providers of hybrid services.

Chairman: Philippe Defraigne

  • Overall consistency of the EU regulatory framework on the distribution of audiovisual services: Jan Guettler, Cullen International
  • The perspective of a distributor 
  • The perspective of a mobile TV operator 
  • The application of the proposed directive on audiovisual media services to mobile and IP TV (with a focus on whether mobile and IP TV providers could be considered to be ‘media service providers’ and on whether the distinction between linear and non-linear services will be future proof and practical for providers of hybrid services) 
  • Roundtable discussion

16:00 – 16:30 Coffee break

16:30 – 18:00 National experiences

This session will provide an opportunity to hear of the hands-on approach of national regulators when faced with these new methods of delivery of audiovisual services. Regulators will explain the regulatory challenges they are facing and whether these challenges have resulted in a specific regulatory regime or not.
Market players will provide their own perspectives on the steps they had to take for the distribution of existing TV channels over new networks and for the provision of on-demand services. They will also explain the impact of possible regulatory obligations on their business such as rules on must-carry, investment obligations, and protection of minors.

Chairman: Philippe Defraigne

  • Overview of benchmark: James Thomson, Cullen International
  • The UK experience or the Finnish experience
  • The French experience 
  • The practical experience of an IP TV provider 
  • Roundtable discussion

18:00 Reception

Objectives of the conference

The conference will provide participants with a unique opportunity to:

  • deepen their understanding of the regulation affecting the distribution of audiovisual content;
  • hear and discuss the impact of regulation on business decision-making and marketplace activities;
  • present their views on how to improve the regulatory framework, if need be;
  • identify regulatory issues that may be emerging along with new business models;
  • understand better how EU and national regulators are tackling these questions;
  • meet and exchange views with regulators and major mobile and IP TV stakeholders.

Who should attend?

Anyone with a stake or interest in the distribution of audiovisual content over new platforms, and in particular over mobile and fixed IP platforms: broadband providers, mobile operators, cable and satellite operators, Internet companies, broadcasters, content providers, equipment manufacturers, regulators, trade association representatives, academics, and other experts in the field.

Date and venue

January 18, 2007
Flagey Studio 1
Place Flagey
1050 Brussels - Belgium
Tel: +32 2 640 35 08
Entrance place Sainte-Croix (parking in front of the entrance)
Registration fees and payment information
Conference fee: € 250 (VAT not included).
The fee includes refreshments, documentation and reception.

Terms and conditions

Upon receiving your booking, we will send you an invoice to be paid before the conference date. Payment can be made by bank transfer or by cheque. We can advise you on how to reclaim the charged VAT.
Substitutions are accepted at any time. Cancellations must be received in writing before January 3, 2007 and will be subject to an administration charge of €50. The full conference fee will have to be paid for cancellations after this date.
Your personal data will be used for the purpose of the conference organisation. You are entitled to consult and update if necessary these data, in accordance with Belgian legislation on data protection.