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Private television in Europe: Competition rules?!

Tim Raats reports on the third bi-annual Private Television Conference, which explored the challenges involved for competition policies on a national and European level.

MediaWeek2015_thumbnail480x360_v2iMinds-SMIT hosted its third bi-annual Private Television Conference at the Crowne Plaza Palace in Brussels as part of the MEDIA WEEK 2015, a series of public events which also included the International Symposium on Media Innovations and the TVX Conference.

Coining it ‘Competition Rules?!’, the conference explored the multi-faceted trends in private television competing in the audiovisual markets and the challenges involved for competition policies on national and European levels.

The Private Television Conference brought together an international audience of academics, industry experts and policymakers.

Mr. Daniel Knapp (Director of Advertising, IHS Technology) kicked off by sharing insights and food-for-thought on shifting revenues and the sustainability of existing models for broadcasting.

Throughout three sessions (platform economics, content as competitive advantage, cross-border competition), insights were shared with plenty of discussions in the panels and audience.

Key issues that took centre stage were:

Other discussions related to new mergers and vertical concentration in media markets and the question whether existing competition policy frameworks remains valid and sufficiently take into account democratic values such as pluralism.

The closing expert panel released some interesting food for thought on future visions from academics, industry members and policymakers concerning the questions that arose throughout the day, calling to broaden the scope of competition analyses internationally or rethink existing financing incentives such as the tax credits, and concluding by emphasizing the future of private television might be guaranteed, but only when perceiving private television as more than traditional broadcasting.

iMinds-SMIT is a research Institute from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. The conference organisers Prof. Dr. Caroline Pauwels and Dr. Tim Raats are also involved in the MeCETES project.

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