Broadcasting

In Estonia, the broadcasting sector consists of Estonian National Broadcasting (ERR) as well as private television channels and radio stations, and the companies that produce TV shows and series for several TV channels.

The Ministry of Culture is responsible for formulating broadcasting policy. To this end, it participates, inter alia, in pan-European policy-making processes and working groups.

Based on the European Union's Audiovisual Media Services Directive, Estonia's media policy and its regulation and control are separated. In Estonia, the role of independent media services regulator is performed by the Consumer Protection and Technical Surveillance Authority under the administration of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.

Of the Estonian TV stations, Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR) operates its channels ETV, ETV2 and ETV+ as a free-to-air service. There is a larger number of cable TV channels.

Statistics

  • The broadcasting sector consists of almost 90 companies with about 1,500 employees.
  • As of 2019, ERR has 633 full-time equivalent jobs.
  • In 2019, the state support for ERR will total €35,919,349

Legislation

The broadcasting sector is directly regulated by the Media Services Act and the Estonian National Broadcasting Act and indirectly by the copyright law.

From European law, the Audiovisual Media Services Directive applies.

Audiovisual policy and the European Union

The European Union has a clear audiovisual policy based on the Audiovisual Media Services Directive and which is supported by the MEDIA Sub-programme of Creative Europe.

The European Union has regulated cross-border television broadcasting services since 1989. The rapid development of technology has increased the scope of both traditional broadcasting and on-demand services, so the rules have had to be constantly updated.

The European Union's audiovisual policy aims to protect Europe's common values and cultural diversity, promote the distribution of European audiovisual media services and regulate the cross-border distribution of television programmes. One of the main objectives of the European Union's audiovisual policy is to promote European television and film production. To this end, rules will be established to ensure that most of the airtime of television stations in the Member States is devoted to European works.

It is also important that at least 10% of a television station's transmission time is devoted to the work of producers independent of that broadcaster. In addition, standards have been agreed for the protection of minors from programmes containing pornography and violence, along with the principles for respecting human dignity. The right of reply and the rules on advertising and sponsorship have also been established, in particular based on the interests of the viewers.

Important partners

Consumer Protection and Technical Surveillance Authority
The Consumer Protection and Technical Surveillance Authority conducts competitions for media service licenses and monitors their fulfilment. The Ministry of Culture sets the conditions for competitions.

Estonian National Broadcasting
Estonian National Broadcasting (ERR) is a legal person in public law. ERR broadcasts two TV and five radio programmes, and also runs several thematic web portals. The ERR’s framework and main tasks are established by the National Broadcasting Act.

Contact

Siim Rohtla

Adviser (Audiovisual Field)

Last updated: 13.12.2020