In dispute over press similarity of online offer of public service broadcasters, prime ministers of Länder reached an agreement. In future, premium-financed broadcasters ARD, ZDF and German radio will have "ir focus on moving picture and sound in order to distinguish mselves from offers of press publishers", said Rhineland-Palatinate Prime Minister Malu Dreyer (SPD). The amendments were recorded in a new tele-media State Treaty.
For several years, publishers had criticized text offer of public broadcasters on Internet: A too extensive written offer distorts competition because it is financed via broadcasting contribution. The broadcasting interstate prohibits public service broadcasters "non-broadcast press-related offers". However, concept of press similarity leaves room for interpretation. In order to resolve contentious cases more quickly in future, broadcasters and press publishers now want to establish a joint conciliation body.
In anor point, ministerial Conference reached a solution: rule that content in media libraries of public service broadcasters may only be available for seven days will be abolished. "It was a great concern to me to find a way to guarantee a furr development in your digital offer to public service broadcasters and to take into account interests of or market participants, such as publishers," said Dreyer. This means that broadcasts of public service can be accessed longer than before. The aim is to take account of changes in television behaviour, since viewers will be able to view programmes more easily in future, irrespective of time of broadcast. The abolition of seven-day rule has long been a concern of ARD and ZDF."There are only winners today"
Mathias Döpfner, president of Federal Association of German Newspaper Publishers, was satisfied with agreement: "There are only winners today". The compromise found ensures clarity where focus of public service online offers lies – in audiovisual field.
ARD director Ulrich Wilhelm spoke of "concessions" that "all parties involved had to enter". Thomas Bellut, director of ZDF, called new Treaty an "important step on way to a digital media order".
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