EU breaks down borders in online sports-media subscriptions

European Union negotiators have reached a deal that will allow Europeans to watch their online sports-media subscriptions when they travel to other EU member states from the start of 2018.

Viewers will also be able to access their online subscriptions to film, e-book, video-game and music services, according to the agreement brokered by the European Parliament, member states and the European Commission.

The online content service providers will verify the subscriber's country of residence. The European Commission added: “All providers who offer paid online content services will have to follow the new rules.” Services that are provided without payment – such as those by some public-service broadcasters – will be able to decide themselves whether to offer such portability to their subscribers.

The rules, in relation to the EU’s Digital Single Market strategy, must now be confirmed by the Council of the EU and the European Parliament.

The proposed start date of the beginning of next year will give providers and rights-holders a nine-month period “to prepare for the application of the new rules,” the Commission added.