Thursday, May 26, 2016

The EU Plan to Control Netflix

If you live in Germany, or in Europe, and have a taste for something better than what state-run TV or local commercial TV offers, then you have the option of Netflix, Amazon, or a dozen other services from your internet provider.  They run anywhere from 8 Euro to 20 Euro a month.

What you typically find right now is that most Germans between the ages of 18 and 25....have signed up for at least one service.  In general, they are giving up completely on state-run TV options, and barely accepting what options exist on commercial TV.  It says a lot about the future of television and where things might be going in twenty years.

So, we have this thing going on with the EU.  They've decided that they need to be in the middle of your TV network options via the internet.  Naturally, you'd ask why, but this is the EU and they like to make sure that they seem important.

Their current game is to put together a draft law which says that twenty-percent of the content offered by Amazon or Netflix....MUST be made in Europe.

Why?  This would ensure a European quality.  I know....it sounds like BS.....but you need to think like the EU.

A problem?  Not that much, at least for Netflix.  They say presently....they are putting out 21-percent of it's content which is made from some location in Europe.  Some are simply comedy shows.  Some are one-hour comedy acts.  Some are British-made cartoons.

The other services?  They've been quiet.  My guess is that they might be somewhere between 10 and 20 percent.

The draft law?  Even if the EU group passes this.....it has to go back to the 28 member states and each has to agree and pass the legislation.  Some may read this and say that it doesn't go far enough and that if you offer Netflix in Italy....ten-percent of the offerings should be Italian.

Is it necessary for a state to mandate entertainment?  Bureaucratic folks will get all defensive at this point and say that you need to preserve the unique features of Europe.  Course, this leads to weird programming ideas.

What would you do if you were Netflix and needed ten shows to meet the 20-percent level?  Well, if this were me.....I'd go hire a couple of college kids to produce phony travel documentary pieces, fake reality shows, and stamp them as 'Euro-made'.  If you laid out 10,000 Euro for me....I could make six hours of fake reality stuff with Germans in the background and some commentary over the food, the beer, or the exotic women of Germany.

The thing is....so much of what Netflix offers (I know, because I use it myself) is US programming. Let's face it....ninety-percent of what you see on both state-run German TV and commercially-run German TV....is lousy two-star material. If you were eighteen years old.....you'd laugh over the options for viewing.  At present, I doubt if my son even watches three hours a month of whats on commercial German TV, and probably hasn't watched any German state-run stuff in six years.

So, when you hear that Netflix got some Polish comedian signed up for a fake reality series....you can guess what the intent of the deal is really about.  Luckily, the EU didn't set the goal at fifty percent (instead of 20 percent).

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