The Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzbv) has criticised the fact that freely accessible audiovisual online content such as TV live streams or catch-up services can continue to be restricted to domestic viewers by geo-blocking, while consumers will be able to use their subscription to paid-for services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Sky Go in other EU countries from April 1, 2018.
“On Easter holidays in France, consumers can watch Netflix, but on ARD and ZDF, the screen often remains black. This must come to an end,” demanded Martin Madej from vzbv’s digital and media department. The consumer protectors also criticise that the possibility to sign up for subscription-based streaming services from other EU countries is not covered by the content portability regulation.
A regulation proposed by the European Commission, OnlineCabSat, could have improved the situation. The aim of the regulation was to simplify access to catch-up services and livestreams of TV channels across European borders. But the regulation has met opposition in the European Parliament and the Council.