Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


This Article explores the Directive, passed by the European Council on October 3, 1989, designed to coordinate the various television broadcasting laws of the Member States within the European Community. While the Directive, popularly called Television Without Frontiers, certainly opens up internal frontiers hindering trans-European broadcasting, it contains a controversial local content provision requiring a majority of airtime for "European Works" which many have argued raises an external barrier to American television programs. This Article explains how the Directive harmonizes the divergent national laws of the Member States and describes in detail the controversy surrounding the local content requirement. In regard to the latter, the Article presents the United States and the Community's positions and outlines the potential responses to the Directive by the United States and its television and film industry.