Auvio users should be able to skip some ads - Business

Auvio users should be able to skip some ads – Business

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Possibility of placing certain ads on Auvio, reinforcement of the distribution quotas for works, corporate governance: the Superior Audiovisual Council (CSA) put forward on Tuesday a series of priorities which, in its view, should be integrated into the next RTBF management contract (2023-2027) currently in the development phase.

Questioned by the Media Commission of the Parliament of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, the “audiovisual policeman” notably recommended an increase in the broadcasting quotas on the public operator.

Even if these quotas are very often exceeded there today, the CSA recommends to still increase the place of European works on the television services just like that of the musical works of artists of the FWB on the radio.

On the other hand, the RTBF should ensure a better distribution of cultural programs on its various channels. “To put it bluntly, it should not beAuvio becomes the ghetto of public service missions which cannot generate significant advertising revenue”, summed up Karim Ibourki, president of the CSA, before the deputies.

In terms of advertising precisely, the regulator recommends harmonizing the rules practiced by the city of Reyers on its classic channels and on Auvio. The CSA criticizes in particular the systematic presence of one, even two advertising screens before the sequences of the JT which are re-examined on Auvio.

The supervisory authority considers that the Internet user should be allowed to shorten these ads via a “skipper” buttonas it already exists on YouTube in particular.

The regulator also denounced on Tuesday the way in which the suppression since July 1 of advertising during the morning (6 a.m. to 9 a.m.) of La Première was circumvented by the sponsorship – always authorized for it – of micro-programs (such as the weather, radio guidance,…) during this time slot.

By analyzing two weeks of broadcast (one in December, the other in January), the CSA thus counted no less than 111 ten-second commercial messages (for a kitchen designer, a bank, etc.), i.e. a average of six per hour.

“Airing these ads exposes listeners to a large number of messages for commercial purposes and can quite give the impression to the public that the morning + without advertisements + includes advertisements”, noted Nele Smets, deputy director at the CSA.

If the legislator really wants to purge the morning of La Première from this type of message, the term + advertising + should be replaced by + commercial communication +, which would then make it possible to encompass sponsorship, further believes the regulator.

Finally, while RTBF has announced its intention toequip Auvio with a recommendation algorithm in the futurethe audiovisual policeman believes that it should be developed with a public service objective, namely to highlight content of public interest, including that which would be published by private partners, such as LN24, present on Auvio.

For the CSA, it is also important that the creation of this algorithm be done in a “transparent” way, explaining in particular to the user why such or such content is recommended to him.

In terms of governance, the Board recommends simplifying the future management contract, which has become very complex over the years.

For the regulator, it would indeed be appropriate to achieve a “less fixed” contract, such as that enjoyed by the VRT or France Télévisions, in order to guarantee RTBF greater agility and flexibility in a constantly changing media ecosystem.

Along with this greater flexibility, the strengthening of certain obligations is however recommended, particularly in terms of diversity, the dissemination of women’s sport or disabled sports, areas which should be accompanied by quantified objectives, according to the CSA.

Concerning the free dissemination of written information on the rtbf.be/info site -qualified as “unfair competition” by French-speaking publishers who try to monetize their own production-, the regulator recommends better specifying in the future management contract the interpretation to be given to the conditions set so that they are actually better respected.

Finally, the CSA suggests opening in the future the board of directors of RTBF – dominated today by representatives appointed by the political parties according to their electoral weight – to independent administrators with extensive management experience. .

Polled by MPs on the recent takeover of RTL Belgium by Rossel and DPG, Mr. Ibourki was surprised on Tuesday at the few comments made by the Belgian Competition Authority.

“Very clearly, it’s an upheaval,” he commented.

“This will have a major influence on RTBF, particularly in terms of advertising. This will have to be monitored over time”, pleaded the president of the CSA. “There is also a risk on diversity and editorial pluralism,” he added, adding that the CSA would soon issue an opinion on this issue.

Questioned by the Media Commission of the Parliament of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, the “audiovisual policeman” notably recommended an increase in the broadcasting quotas on the public operator. Even if these quotas are very often exceeded there today, the CSA recommends to still increase the place of European works on the television services just like that of the musical works of artists of the FWB on the radio. On the other hand, the RTBF should ensure a better distribution of cultural programs on its various channels. “To put it bluntly, Auvio should not become the ghetto of public service missions which cannot generate significant advertising revenue”, summed up Karim Ibourki, president of the CSA, before the deputies. In terms of advertising precisely, the regulator recommends harmonizing the rules practiced by the city of Reyers on its classic channels and on Auvio. The CSA criticizes in particular the systematic presence of one, even two advertising screens before the sequences of the JT which are re-examined on Auvio. The supervisory authority considers that the user should be allowed to abbreviate these ads via a “skipper” button, as it already exists on YouTube in particular. The regulator also denounced on Tuesday the way in which the suppression since July 1 of advertising during the morning (6 a.m. to 9 a.m.) of La Première was circumvented by the sponsorship – always authorized for it – of micro-programs (such as the weather, radio guidance,…) during this time slot. By analyzing two weeks of broadcast (one in December, the other in January), the CSA thus counted no less than 111 ten-second commercial messages (for a kitchen designer, a bank, etc.), i.e. a average of six per hour. “The broadcast of these announcements exposes listeners to a large number of messages for commercial purposes and can quite give the impression to the public that the morning + without advertisements + includes advertisements”, noted Nele Smets, deputy director at the CSA. If the legislator really wants to purge the morning of La Première from this type of message, the term + advertising + should be replaced by + commercial communication +, which would then make it possible to encompass sponsorship, further believes the regulator. Finally, while RTBF has announced its intention to equip Auvio with a recommendation algorithm in the future, the audiovisual policeman believes that it should be developed with a public service objective, namely to highlighting content of public interest, including that published by private partners, such as LN24, present on Auvio. For the CSA, it is also important that the creation of this algorithm be done in a “transparent” way, explaining in particular to the user why such or such content is recommended to him. In terms of governance, the Board recommends simplifying the future management contract, which has become very complex over the years. For the regulator, it would indeed be appropriate to achieve a “less fixed” contract, such as that enjoyed by the VRT or France Télévisions, in order to guarantee RTBF greater agility and flexibility in a constantly changing media ecosystem. Along with this greater flexibility, the strengthening of certain obligations is however recommended, particularly in terms of diversity, the dissemination of women’s sport or disabled sports, areas which should be accompanied by quantified objectives, according to the CSA. Concerning the free dissemination of written information on the rtbf.be/info site -qualified as “unfair competition” by French-speaking publishers who try to monetize their own production-, the regulator recommends better specifying in the future management contract the interpretation to be given to the conditions set so that they are actually better respected. Finally, the CSA suggests opening in the future the board of directors of RTBF – dominated today by representatives appointed by the political parties according to their electoral weight – to independent administrators with extensive management experience. . Polled by MPs on the recent takeover of RTL Belgium by Rossel and DPG, Mr. Ibourki was surprised on Tuesday at the few comments made by the Belgian Competition Authority. “Very clearly, it’s an upheaval,” he commented. “This will have a major influence on RTBF, particularly in terms of advertising. This will have to be monitored over time”, pleaded the president of the CSA. “There is also a risk on diversity and editorial pluralism,” he added, adding that the CSA would soon issue an opinion on this issue.

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