×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Broadcasters Demand More Clarity From U.K. Government’s Brexit Blueprint

The British government has outlined its hoped-for relationship with the European Union after Brexit in a blueprint that it calls bold and ambitious but that TV broadcasters and channel operators say lacks clarity.

The U.K. is a major hub for channels, with more than 600 using a license from British media regulator Ofcom that, at present, is applicable to the rest of the EU. But the issue for channel operators is whether these licenses will be recognized outside Britain after the country officially withdraws from the 28-nation trading bloc.

A section of the government’s Brexit white paper, which was published Thursday, specifically addresses broadcasting. “The audiovisual sector is both economically and culturally important to the U.K. and the EU,” it said. “The U.K.’s creative hub contributes significantly to the development of products that are much in demand by European consumers.”

It added that the “U.K. is seeking the best possible arrangements for this sector,” but gave no further details.

The Commercial Broadcasters Assn. said the document “offers little clarity for the U.K.’s £1 billion ($1.32 billion) international broadcasting sector.” While European negotiations often go down to the wire, the organization warned that broadcasters need months to organize contingency plans.

“We remain deeply concerned that broadcasters will have to reluctantly start restructuring within the next few months, and possibly within weeks for some companies,” Adam Minns, the association’s executive director, said in a statement.

The Creative Industries Federation, an association that spans the U.K.’s creative sectors from film and TV to fashion, called for a stronger commitment from the U.K. government on broadcasting.

Some channel operators, including Vice and Viacom, have already moved their European channels out of the U.K., although the latter said it was not because of Brexit. Others such as Discovery and Turner are also considering moving their channels.

Prime Minister Theresa May gave a key speech earlier this year in which she said options including a system of mutual recognition should be explored. This be tantamount to the status quo, with Britain subscribing to the EU’s directive on Audiovisual Media Services.

“In concrete terms, [the white paper] doesn’t really take us beyond what the PM said in March,” said John Enser, a partner at CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang. “Despite the fine words, the prospects of some future AVMS-style mutual recognition are not currently great outside of a bigger shift in Brexit policy, such as a change of government or new referendum.”

More TV

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Accusers Detail Abuse, Reveal Evidence on 'Dateline'

    The continuing controversy surrounding R. Kelly, including allegations of sexual abuse by a number of women over three decades, was the focus of Friday’s episode of “Dateline.” Speaking to accusers Sparkle, Jerhonda Pace and parents Tim and Jonjelyn Savage, among others, NBC’s Andrea Canning heard more harrowing tales of abduction and sexual misconduct on the part [...]

  • Kenan Thompson

    NBC Orders Comedy Pilots 'Saving Kenan' and 'Like Magic'

    NBC has ordered comedies “Saving Kenan” and “Like Magic” to pilot. “Saving Kenan” is a single-camera comedy starring “Saturday Night Live” veteran Kenan Thompson as a “newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives.” Jackie Clarke will serve as writer and [...]

  • The First -- "The Choice" -

    'The First' Canceled at Hulu After One Season

    Hulu has grounded the space exploration drama “The First” after one season, Variety has confirmed. The series hailed from Beau Willimon and starred Sean Penn and Natascha McElhone in Penn’s first regular television role. “The First” was set in the near future and followed the first human mission to Mars. Hulu gave the show a straight-to-series order in [...]

  • Nicole Maines Supergirl Trans Hollywood Portrait

    TV Roundup: 'Supergirl' Drops First Look at Nicole Maines as TV's First Trans Superhero

    In today’s TV News Roundup, The CW releases a first look at Nicole Maines on “Supergirl” and Variety unveils an exclusive look at Gabriel Iglesias’ new comedy special.  FIRST LOOKS truTV has released the first trailer for season 2 of Emmy-nominated series “At Home with Amy Sedaris.” The variety sketch comedy returns Tuesday, Feb. 19 at [...]

  • The Beatles Eight Days a Week

    Imagine's Documentary Arm Sets First-Look Pact With Apple (EXCLUSIVE)

    Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries has set a first-look pact with Apple to develop non-fiction features and series. The deal comes as Imagine is investing heavily in the premium non-fiction arena. The company in June recruited RadicalMedia veteran Justin Wilkes to head Imagine Documentaries as president. The deal suggests that Apple sees docu [...]

  • Fyre Festival Documentaries: The 10 Most

    Fyre Festival Documentaries: The 10 Most Outrageous Moments

    It is perhaps only fitting that two documentaries about the disastrous Fyre Festival, one of the most high-profile fraudulent failures in history, would arrive during the same week — a fitting cap on a tragicomedy of errors that, as both films outline in excruciating detail, unfolded like a slow-motion plane crash in the spring of [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Unveils Financial Data for DTC Unit, Sets April 11 for Investor Presentation

    Disney has rejiggered its business segments for earnings reporting to make room for the new unit housing its global streaming operations. Disney on Friday released restated earnings for fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 to give investors and financial analysts better visibility into its spending on the launch of the Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and other [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content