250 broadcasting licences migrated from the United Kingdom to European countries due to its departure from the European Union. Half of the channels available in Europe outside their country of origin fell under the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom in 2018, declining to 10% at the end of 2020. Over a quarter of international channels in Europe are now licensed in The Netherlands, with a fifth licensed in Luxembourg.
London was the major international hub for broadcasters in Europe, operating under licences from the United Kingdom communications regulator Ofcom. As a result of Brexit, many international broadcasters were obliged to secure licences in member states of the European Union to secure continuity of distribution across Europe.
Broadcasting licences which were relocated from the United Kingdom included transnational networks such as Discovery, Disney, NBC, NENT, Sony, SPI International, Turner and Viacom, as well as the internationally targeted versions of BBC and Sky channels.
This shift resulted in a repositioning of the main hubs for channels addressing European markets outside their market of origin.
The Netherlands is now the main European hub, with 27% of these channels, followed by Luxembourg with 19% and Spain with 15%. The United Kingdom now ranks fourth, with 10%, ahead of France with 6%.
85% of TV channels addressing foreign European audiences fall within the jurisdiction of a country in the European Economic Area. The Netherlands accounted for 32%, Luxembourg for 22% and Spain 18%. These three countries accounted for over 70% of such channels at the end of 2020.
While in the case of the Netherlands and Spain most jurisdiction claims are based on the head office establishment of the licence holder, three quarters of Luxembourg licences are due to the usage of the satellite uplink in that territory or the use of satellite capacity that it can offer.
The figures are based on an analysis of the MAVISE database of the European Audiovisual Observatory. The availability of jurisdiction information for member states of the European Union in a public database is a requirement of the Audiovisual Media Service Directive. The data available in MAVISE are based on the contributions of the audiovisual regulatory authorities of the 27 European Union member states and 15 other territories.
94% of television channels available in the 41 European countries covered by the MAVISE database originate form one of these countries and among these almost two thirds are under the jurisdiction of a country in the European Economic Area.