Temporary restriction on the broadcast of a television channel for combating incitement to hatred.
Directive 2010/13/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 2010 on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the provision of audiovisual media services (Audiovisual Media Services Directive)
A member state can impose a temporary restriction on the broadcast or retransmission of a television channel from another member state on public policy grounds – such as combating incitement to hatred – so that the channel is only available in pay-to-view packages. These measures are not covered by Article 3(1) and (2) of the Directive 2010/13/EU, since they do not prevent the retransmission as such of television programmes. (In the instant case, the Lithuanian Radio and Television Commission, pursuant to the Lithuanian law, adopted a measure imposing an obligation to distribute the television channel NTV Mir Lithuania only in pay-to-view packages for 12 months. The decision was based on the fact that a programme broadcast on that channel contained information that incited hatred based on nationality, by referring to the collaboration of Lithuanians and Latvians in the Holocaust and the nationalistic and neo-Nazi internal policies of the Baltic countries. The Baltic Media Alliance Ltd, a company registered in the United Kingdom which was responsible for the distribution of the channel NTV Mir Lithuania, brought an action seeking the annulment of the decision, submitting in particular that it was taken in breach of the Directive 2010/13/EU. It follows the request for a preliminary ruling concerning the interpretation of Article 3, paras. 1 and 2 of Directive 2010/13/EU).
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