Not only the big US technology companies have reasons to worry about their future obligations to finance and maintain telecommunications networks. In addition to Google, Netflix, Meta, Apple, Microsoft or Amazon, linear television services offered by streaming will also be implicated by the community regulation project. In the case of Spain, the audiovisual giants Atresmedia, Mediaset and TVE offer their content over the Internet in a complementary way to traditional radio broadcasting. The volume of bandwidth that these companies consume from the infrastructures of telecommunications operators is increasing, due to changes in audience habits. In fact, linear television is evolving at great speed in its way of reaching the general public, with an obvious transition from television antennas to fiber optic connections and mobile broadband (4G and 5G).
The alert signal among the traditional television channels was activated last week, during the Mobile World Congress of Barcelona (MWC), due to the intervention of the co-director general of Netflix, Greg Peters, in one of the star presentations of the fair . In his opinion, the claim of the telecommunications and Internet access providers so that companies like Netflix contribute fairly to the maintenance of networks, it should be extended to conventional television channels“to the extent that they go from linear broadcast to streaming to offer their customers the same benefits that the Internet currently offers.”
For the moment, the large Spanish television groups consulted by this medium prefer not to comment on the matter, since there is still nothing firm. However, industry sources consulted by elEconomista.es you downplay the possible norm and they allege that the market share of traditional televisions is quite marginal compared to that monopolized by big tech.
In the same forum, Peters defended his cause by warning that the rate that the European Commission plans to impose would reduce your investment in content, whose budget has exceeded 56,000 million euros in the last five years. That amount represents more than half of your billing over that period of time.
Convinced that the best defense is a good offense, Peters also recalled that the profit margins of the large television and streaming series producers “are significantly lower than those obtained by BT and Deutsche Telekom. We could argue that they are the telecoms who should pay us the cost of the content”.
Before the start of the MWC, the European Commissioner for Industry, Thierry Breton, announced the upcoming opening of a public consultation to gather information on the possible ways of financing the networks by companies whose content accounts for a relevant percentage of traffic, unofficially estimated at 10%. In the absence of knowing the text of the query, the same sources pointed out that it would not make sense to include traditional televisions, since they would be simple SMEs compared to big tech ones.