Recent work | April 20, 2023

Roschier advises Eurosport on high-profile case concerning the free retransmission of television broadcasts within the EU

By its decision of 19 April 2023, the Helsinki Administrative Court has confirmed that advertisements, including those about gambling, are subject to freedom of retransmission, which may be restricted only in exceptional cases as set out in the Audiovisual Media Service Directive (AVMS Directive).

The Administrative Court’s decision is of great importance for broadcasters as it confirms the broadcaster’s fundamental freedom of retransmission and the country-of-origin principle, which are safeguarded by the AVMS Directive.

Eurosport SAS is a media company established in France which broadcasts sporting content and advertisements. In the appealed decision, the Finnish National Police Board prohibited Eurosport SAS from broadcasting gambling advertisements on Eurosport 1 in Finland based on national legislation.

The Administrative Court, however, overturned the Finnish National Police Board’s decision. The Administrative Court considered that measures to prevent the retransmission of a television broadcast from another Member State may be imposed only in limited circumstances as set out in the AVMS Directive, and that the National Police Board had no power to restrict the retransmission of such broadcasts.

The Administrative Court concluded that, by prohibiting Eurosport from retransmitting the broadcasts, the National Police Board had restricted the retransmission of a television broadcast from another Member State contrary to the AVMS Directive and EU case law. By imposing the prohibition, National Police Board had introduced a further mechanism for monitoring television broadcasts that was additional to that employed by the Member State in which the broadcast was originally transmitted.

The decision may be appealed to the Supreme Administrative Court, subject to leave to appeal being granted.

Roschier represented Eurosport in the proceedings, with a core team comprising Mikael Segercrantz, Mikko Manner, Toni Salama and Susanna Nisso.

Interested in this topic?  Read more here (in Finnish).