On 13 June EU ambassadors confirmed an agreementreached on 6 June 2018 between the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council and the European Parliament representatives on modernising the existing rules on the provision of audiovisual media services in Europe.
The European Commission has reapproved with conditions, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Ziggo by Liberty Global. The merger was first approved in 2014. Following the annulment of this approval by the General Court in 2017, the Commission has reassessed the merger.
The topic of audiovisual sports rights has gained increasing relevance, including in the light of the upcoming football World Cup in Russia this summer. As most people will not be able to attend the sports games they wish to see, they will use the media to hear the news or to get full direct coverage through live broadcasts. However, media coverage of sports events is regulated by complex copyright rules and the exclusive right to broadcast top sports events live comes at a cost. In 2014, the global sports rights market was worth nearly €19 billion. In the EU, broadcasters spent around €5.8 billion on the acquisition of rights in 2009, which represented nearly 17 % of their total €34.5 billion programming spend. But how exclusive can audiovisual rights be?