Current holder of the #3 spot for European licencing of TV Channels. A straight forward business and regulatory environment not too dissimilar to the UK, and a European leader in technology adoption. Estonia boasts the claim to being Europe’s first fully Digital Economy, and is home to an innovative E-Residency program. English is commonly spoken (70%) among its 1.3 million citizens, especially in Business. While Estonia is not home to a major Aviation Hub or Bourse, it does enjoy good transport connectivity across Europe; and is an active member of the EU, with high level participation in the review process for the AVMSD. Estonia is the home of leading telecommunications provider Levira, and enjoys excellent fibre connectivity to key European Cities, making it a prime contender for TV Channel Playout and VOD/SVOD capabilities. The flexibility for conducting business based there makes it is very attractive. With one-third of the population (300,000) being Russian speaking it is an ideal location for basing or trialling Russian speaking services.
Licencing requirements for a TV Channel include: a registered Estonian company; an Editorial Control structure within the Country and EU recognised by the regulatory body and terms of the AVMSD. Significant workforce must be present or employed from Estonia. The Estonian Media Services Act transposes the AVMSD into law. Program structure must include 5% news; 10% monthly for internal production; 51% of content must be generated within the EU irrespective of news. Protections exist on advertising for Children, Consumers, Medicinal Products, Alcohol. Advertising slot allocations are 12 mins. max. News may only be interrupted once per 30 minutes. Typical sponsorship restrictions exist for news and current affairs. Broadcasts available in Estonia must be accompanied by an adequate Estonian translation, though this does not apply externally. Fees for a Satellite Broadcast Licence are €960, with licensing taking 6 months. The licence lasts 5 years. The service provider and service must be economically sustainable. Estonia will not supply licences in violation of International Treaties, or where the provider may violate EU Competition Law.