INDUSTRIES, MEDIA | The ECJ on hourly limits for television advertising spots

On 30 January 2024, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued its judgment in Case C-255/21(RTI vs AGCOM), concerning the interpretation of the hourly limits for TV advertising spots set forth by Article 23 of Directive (EU) 2010/13 (pre-2018 version, Audiovisual Media Services Directive). Notably, the Italian Council of State asked the ECJ to clarify whether a TV spot promoting a radio station (in the case at issue, Radio 101) falls within the concept of “announcements made by the broadcaster in connection with its own programmes” excluded from the calculation of the hourly TV advertising time pursuant to Article 23, para. 2 of the Audiovisual Media Service Directive, if the broadcaster of the TV spot (in the case at issue, RTI) and the owner of the radio station (in the case at issue, Monradio) belong to the same group of companies (in the case at issue, Mediaset Group). The Court answered in the negative, clarifying that TV spots of this type are to be considered “announcements made by the broadcaster in connection with its own programmes” only where (i) the programme advertised by the TV spot is an “audiovisual media service”, which implies that it is dissociable from the principal activity of the radio station, and (ii) the TV broadcaster has “editorial responsibility” for the advertised programme. In other words, belonging to the same group of companies is not relevant per se.

Newsletter n. 93 – February 2024