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Industry Report: Distribution and Exhibition

European programmes and films represent three-quarters of peak viewing time

- Films and television programmes made in Europe continue to attract European viewers. According to an independent study carried out on behalf of the European Commission and published today, European works represent almost three-quarters of European channels' peak viewing time.

The presence of European works in the new media – such as video on demand – is encouraging, but its compliance with the new European audiovisual rules needs to be monitored closely. Those rules, which are intended to ensure that European works are broadcast, were supplemented in 2007 by specific new media measures which all the EU Member States must apply by December 2009.

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The study measures for the first time how long viewers spend watching European programmes. Previous studies measured only their share of the programme schedule. This study shows that independent European programmes and films are very popular.

In 2007, European programmes and films represented 74% of viewing time, and even 75.5% between 18:00 and 23:00; 33.4% of Europeans' viewing time was devoted to independent European productions.

The majority of video on demand services provided by television channels offer almost exclusively European content: more than 90% of the television channels interviewed stated that European content represented over 75% of their on demand listings.

By contrast, independent video on demand services promote European productions far less: 25% state that they offer less than 25% European viewing time in their listings. It is therefore important to monitor the development of video on demand available in the EU in order to support the promotion of culturally diversified content.

The study, based on a representative sample of television channels and associated services throughout Europe, has been carried out on behalf of the European Commission in order to examine the promotion of European works by television channels and on demand services in 30 countries, as required by the European audiovisual rules. It proposes methods for evaluating the presence of, and investment in, European content by video on demand services.

Lastly, it encourages Member States and on demand services to draw up guidelines for assessing the importance of European content in the on demand service environment.

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