from NMA

Online TV services from established broadcasters are to be subject to advertising restrictions under the EU’s overhaul of its 1989 TV Without Frontiers directive. But video sharing sites such as YouTube have escaped being subject to the directive.

Ministers met yesterday to redefine TV Without Frontiers and took into account internet content for the first time. They agreed to maintain the limit of advertising during most TV shows to 12 minutes per hour.

The directive will now apply to content on the internet and mobile if they are TV-like services that compete with traditional broadcasters. This means video-rich sites such as YouTube, MySpace Video and Bebo TV will escape censure from the EU.

Shaun Woodward, UK minister for creative industries, said, “The extension has been limited to on-demand television-like services and we have enshrined further liberalisation of advertising rules.”

Sounds like a) about time, b) a waste of time and c) too little too late to me. BTW what’s Australia’s directive? Betcha we don’t have one. Who would such a directive impact here? BigPond maybe? How about Lachlan Murdoch’s new venture? Well, I’ll download my TV shows from European online TV services if Aussie online TV advertising content gets too high, thank you very muchly.