Betting and Horseracing

Nick Fitzpatrick, co-chairman of our Global Media, Sport and Entertainment team, spoke to iSportconnect about issues in the betting and horseracing industries. See the feature here

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FRANCE: French Legislation on Evening Advertising on Public Channels: Should We Expect Another Shift in Policy?

By Florence Guthfreund-Roland & Mathilde Hallé

It has been five years since the French government decided to ban advertising at night for public-service television channels. Indeed Article 28 of law No. 2009-258, dated March 5, 2009, prohibited the broadcasting of advertisement from 8.00 PM to 6.00 AM on all French state-held channels.

This regulation, however, has recently been the subject of debate. The main French public service broadcaster, France Télévisions, has recently called for a lift of the ban, and at the end of August 2014 requested “the return of advertising during half time at major sports events during the evening“. The underlying reason for this request was that government compensation, given to public channels in consideration for the advertising ban, has recently been significantly lowered. As a consequence, broadcasters are now looking for a boost in their advertising revenues.

Is this likely to lead to a change in the legislation? The French Minster of the budget has not excluded this possibility. In fact, in 2009 the French government put in place two new taxes in order to offset the loss of income, on telecoms operators and on private TV channels. The European Commission is currently considering whether these taxes distort competition, in which case they could be suppressed. As a result, the French minister of the budget is considering the return to advertising on public channels, in the event that the taxes are suppressed.

For further information, please contact Florence Guthfreund-Roland ( or Mathilde Hallé (

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ITALY – (Yet another?) LCN Consultation!

A new consultation? Well, strictly speaking, not, although it feels like it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Webinar on the Re-Opening of the Spanish Gambling Market

The Spanish gambling market is about to live two very relevant developments: its re-opening for new entrants as well as the introduction of new and long-time-awaited games. Spain is one of the most relevant markets for online gambling operators in Europe, which should be growing significantly in the next future due to these new features.

DLA Piper Spain is delighted to invite you to a 1 hour webinar, focusing on the most relevant issues anyone present or interested in the Spanish market must know regarding these important developments.

The webinar will take place on September 24, 2014, from 3.00 to 4.00pm GMT.

The session will be presented in English by members of our Gambling Group and chaired by Albert Agustinoy.

We hope you can join us.

Click here if you would like to attend this session

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Italy – (Yet another) LCN decision!

This week the Consiglio di Stato (Administrative Supreme Court) issued a new decision (Decision no. 4541/2014) on the LCN saga (the logical channel numbering for Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting).

Read the rest of this entry »

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Increase of ratio of film support

On 24 June 2014 the European Commission resolved that it does not object to an increase in indirect state support (in the form of a tax rebate), from 20% to 25%, for the production costs of films produced in Hungary. It is expected that during the next Parliament session (autumn 2014) the Hungarian Parliament will amend the Motion Picture Act (Act no. 2 of 2004) and the Corporate Tax Act (Act. no. 81 of 1996) accordingly. It is expected that these changes will have retrospective effect i.e. the changes will enter into force with retroactive effect as of 24 June 2014. Consequently the increased state support will be available to all productions that have been registered by the Hungarian Film Office after 24 June 2014. Films registered before 24 June 2014 will only be able to benefit from the 20% indirect support. Productions (even on-going productions) which have been registered after 24 June 2014 will be entitled to 25% indirect support (if the modification is accepted by the Parliament). The potential increase in the level of indirect support is consistent with the New Cinema Communication of the European Commission, and it has no effect on the application of the Hungarian film incentive system, which has been approved and extended until 31 December 2019.


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Advertisement Tax

On 15 August 2014 a new act (Act no. 22 of 2014) entered into force in Hungary, setting out the rules of a new tax category: advertisement tax. According to the act, an advertisement is subject to the tax if it is published beside others (i) in any media service, (ii) in newspapers or periodicals published or distributed in Hungary and mainly in Hungarian, or (iii) on the Internet, mainly on a Hungarian language website or mainly in Hungarian. The tax shall be paid by (i) media-content providers who are deemed established in Hungary, (ii) media content providers whose daily program time is made up of at least 50% Hungarian language content in Hungary, (iii) the publisher, in the case of newspapers or periodicals, and (iv) in the case of advertisement published on the Internet, the announcer. If these entities do not declare that they are subject to this tax, either on the invoice or in the agreement regarding the placement of the advertisement, and fulfil this payment obligation, then the contract party who ordered the advertisement shall pay the tax.

The tax is based on the total net advertisement revenue. The applicable percentage for calculating the amount of tax payable will vary between 1% and 40%, depending on the level of taxable income.

The act was drafted in a hurry and as a consequence contains several unclear terms and definitions, therefore modifications are expected in the near future.

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New Zealand: The ‘naming names’ drive for privacy compliance

By Brian Bray

In a move that will be of great interest to any agency dealing with personal information, the New Zealand Privacy Commissioner has indicated that it will be adopting a policy to routinely ‘name names’ of agencies that have breached privacy law.

The Privacy Commissioner is taking this step with a view to promoting compliance with the Privacy Act 1993. It is hoped that this new policy will ensure a more consistent approach is taken to the naming of agencies, which has been done on an ad hoc basis in the past.

Privacy law has come to the forefront of agency regulatory compliance recently, largely on the back of increased public awareness arising from several widely publicized privacy breaches and concerns about the increasing amounts of personal information that agencies now hold.

This new policy is scheduled to take effect on 1 November 2014 and submissions are due on 30 September 2014.

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ICO publish Data Protection Guide for the media

The Leveson Inquiry highlighted a prevailing confusion as to how data protection law applies to journalism and the media. To tackle this it was recommended that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) work to prepare a comprehensive set of guidelines and advice on appropriate principles and standards to be observed by the press in the processing of personal data.

In response, and following a period of thorough consultation both with the media industry and through a formal public consultation, the ICO has published Data Protection: a guide for the media, designed to help those working in the industry to understand and comply with their obligations under the Data Protection Act (DPA). Alongside this guidance, the ICO has published their response to the consultation, as well as advice to the public if they feel the media has not handled their information correctly.

The guide attempts to strike a fine balance between press freedom and personal rights, and as such will not satisfy everybody. Leveson himself recommended changes to the DPA itself in order to strengthen individuals’ privacy rights against journalists. Conversely certain media groups believe that even the current law represents a threat to cherished press freedom.

We’ll keep you updated on further progress.

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FRANCE: The French Media Authority Refuses to Authorize TF1 to Swap the LCI News Channel From Pay to Free DTT

By Florence Guthfreund-Roland & Mathilde Hallé

The TF1 group has petitioned the French media authority (the “CSA”) to swap its LCI news channel from pay to free DTT, based on the provisions of a new law adopted on November 15, 2013 which granted the CSA the power to authorize a pay DTT channel to migrate to free DTT, upon request from the broadcaster. In case of such a request, the CSA must consider whether a migration to free DTT would jeopardize (i) the principle of pluralism, (ii) the quality and diversity of TV programs, and (iii) the stability of the television sector. In a decision rendered on July 29, 2014, the CSA formally refused to approve the migration requested by TF1. Read the rest of this entry »

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