EU declares British TV and film a threat to ‘cultural diversity’ (Picture: BBC/REX)
In another post-Brexit shakeup, the European Union plans to drastically decrease the number of British TV programmes and films that are screened across Europe.
The United Kingdom withdrew from the EU in January 2020, but the full effects of what that means are still being finalised.
Now British work has been deemed a threat to Europe’s ‘cultural diversity’.
This decision would be a huge blow to the entertainment industry, which relies on the boost of the £1.4billion sale of international rights.
The UK is Europe’s leading film and television producer, with popular programmes like The Crown, Call The Midwife and Downton Abbey gaining large international audiences.
Midsomer Murders has proven to be popular in Germany and shows like Poldark, Doctor Who and Top Gear have also had success in Europe.
Peaky Blinders has been a success in Europe (Picture: BBC)
Sadly these changes could mean these programmes could see a large drop in viewership.
While Britain was a member of the EU, it participated in a quota system aimed at ensuring that European-produced shows were broadcast on European televisions.
Unfortunately now since Brexit, the EU wants to reduce Britain’s ‘disproportionate’ influence on the European television market.
It almost goes without saying that this would be a huge a blow to the British entertainment industry, which has already suffered because of Covid.
Filming has only just now started picking up again after many sets were forced to close or suffered a variety of delays because of the pandemic.
Poldark also has international fans (Picture: BBC/Mammoth Screen)
According to an EU document seen by The Guardian, the EU wants to stop referring to British TV and films as ‘European creations’
Under the new rules, European TV and film would have to receive the majority of airtime on television, and at least 30 per cent of titles on streaming services like Netlix and Amazon would need to be European.
This means British work would not qualify.
The EU document reads: ‘The high availability of UK content in video on-demand services, as well as the privileges granted by the qualification as European works, can result in a disproportionate presence of UK content with the European video on demand quota and hinder a larger variety of European works (including from smaller countries or less spoken languages).
‘Therefore the disproportionality may affect the fulfilment of the objectives of promotion of European works and cultural diversity aimed by the audiovisual media services directive.’
In 2019-20, the UK television industry generated £490million through the sale of overseas rights to European networks and on-demand platforms, making it the second-largest market behind the United States.