Geo-Enabling and Cross-Border Access

Ending geo-enabling would jeopardise the availability of culturally diverse content and access options in Europe, to the detriment of consumers and our industries.

Threat to cultural diversity:

In a scenario without the possibility to agree on territorially exclusive distribution arrangements, only big market players would be able to bid for pan-European licences, while smaller (national) players would not be able to afford – or have a commercial interest in – such a cost. Consequently, the distribution market would suffer a loss of diversity and likely move towards market concentration around a few larger players.

Increased prices for consumers:

Putting an end to geo-enabling would curtail the freedom of services to adapt to local terms and offerings according to local market conditions and put pressure on these services to unify prices upwards.

Jeopardising the livelihood of creators and smaller SME European players:

Ending geo-enabling would erode the commercial freedom for parties to agree on territorial exclusivity, in turn reducing cultural diversity both in content production and in distribution channels across Europe. Passionate producers and distributors throughout the value chain (cinemas, video online and offline, broadcasters, etc) would no longer be able to finance the development, production, marketing and distribution of content they believe in.

Cross-border portability Regulation:

CW! believes that the Regulation is sufficient in enabling EU citizens, who meet the requirements of the Regulation, to access services and content from home when travelling in other Member States. With the adoption of the Cross-border portability Regulation, the European Commission has already addressed the vast majority of the demand for cross-border access to audiovisual and creative content, as consumers are able to access music, play video games, watch films or sports broadcasts across Europe, when travelling for business or leisure.

A potential unprecedented market intervention:

Banning the use of justified geo-blocking could lead to an erosion of territorial exclusivity, which is the foundation for financing, production, marketing and distribution of culturally diverse audiovisual works and creative content. Our industries underline that the potential inclusion of our sectors within the scope of the geo-blocking Regulation would threaten the cultural and creative industries that strive to offer tailored and culturally diverse content to European consumers.