European Broadcasting Union

European Broadcasting Union

Infobox Organization
name = European Broadcasting Union
Union européenne de radio-télévision

mcaption = Countries with one or more members are in green
type = Union of broadcasting organisations
membership = 74 active members
headquarters = Geneva, Switzerland
formation = 12 February 1950
leader_title = President
leader_name = Fritz Pleitgen (Jean-Paul Philippot will succeed him in January 2009) cite web|url=|title=Oiko Times|date=7 July 2008|accessdate=2008-07-10]
language = English, French
website =
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU; _fr. L'Union Européenne de Radio-Télévision ("UER"), and unrelated to the European Union) is a confederation of 75 broadcasting organisations from 56 countries, and 43 associate broadcasters from a further 25. Members are radio and television companies, most of which are government-owned public service broadcasters or privately owned stations with public missions. Full active Members are based in countries from Algeria to the Vatican State, including almost all European countries. Associate members aren't limited to those from European countries and the Mediterranean but include broadcasters from Canada, Japan, Mexico, India and Hong Kong, as well as many others. Associate Members from the United States include ABC, CBS, NBC, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and Time Warner.

Active members are those whose states fall within the European Broadcasting Area, or otherwise those who are members of the Council of Europe.

The EBU's highest profile production is the Eurovision Song Contest organised by its Eurovision Network. The ability of any country from which there are full members of the EBU to enter this contest leads both to the ever growing number of entries, and the counter-intuitive inclusion of countries, such as Morocco and Israel, which aren't geographically or politically part of Europe. The Eurovision Network also organises the Eurovision Dance Contest, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, the former Eurovision Young Dancers competition, and other competitions for young musicians and screenwriters, which are modelled along similar lines. The countries in the EBU have also often worked together to create documentaries and (animated) children's programming.

Most EBU broadcasters have a group deal to carry the Olympicscite web|url=|title=Live Broadcasts Finally Okayed|date=10 July 2008|publisher=Variety Asia Online|accessdate=2008-07-10] and FIFA World Cup (particularly, the games of their country and the Final). Another annually recurring event is broadcast across Europe through the EBU is the Vienna New Year's Concert.

The theme music played before EBU broadcasts is Marc-Antoine Charpentier's Prelude to Te Deum. It is well known to Europeans as it is played before and after the Eurovision Song Contest and other important events (click [] to listen).


It was formed on 12 February 1950 by 23 broadcasting organisations from Europe and the Mediterranean at a conference in the coastal resort of Torquay in Devon, England. In 1993, the International Radio and Television Organisation ("OIRT"), an equivalent organisation of broadcasters from Central and Eastern Europe, was merged with the EBU.

The first co-production was the animated series "The Animals of Farthing Wood" from 1993 based on the books of the same title by Colin Dann. The second animated collaboration was "Noah's Island" from 1997 and more recently, Pitt and Kantrop. Another important EBU program is Jeux sans frontières.

Technical activities

The objective of the [ EBU’s technical activities] is simply to assist EBU Members (see below) in this period of unprecedented technological changes. This includes provision of technical information to Members via conferences and workshops, as well as in written form (such as the [ EBU Technical Review] ).

The EBU also encourages active collaboration between its Members on the basis that they can freely share their knowledge and experience, thus achieving considerably more than individual Members could achieve by themselves. Much of this collaboration is achieved through Project Groups which study specific technical issues of common interest: for example, EBU Members have long been preparing for the revision of the 1961 Stockholm Plan.

The EBU places great emphasis on the use of open standards. Widespread use of open standards (such as MPEG-2, DAB, DVB, etc.) ensures interoperability between products from different vendors, as well as facilitating the exchange of programme material between EBU Members and promoting "horizontal markets" for the benefit of all consumers.

EBU Members and the EBU Technical Department have long played an important role in the development of many systems used in radio and television broadcasting, such as:
*The AES/EBU digital audio interface;
*Serial and parallel interfaces for digital video (ITU-R Recommendations 601 and 656);
*RDS - the Radio Data System used on FM broadcasting.

The EBU has also actively encouraged the development and implementation of:
*Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) through Eureka Project 147 and the WorldDAB Forum;
*Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) through the DVB Project and DigiTAG;
*Digital radio in the bands currently used for AM broadcasting through DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale);
*Standardisation of PVR systems through the TV-Anytime Forum.
*Development of other content distribution networks on the internet through P2PTV; EBU Project Group D/P2P, from November 2007 to April 2008, with a trial of selected member channels, thanks to Octoshape's distribution platform. [] . The EBU is also part of the European P2P-Next project.

----Links to:
* [ EBU Technical homepage]
* [ EBU Technical Review]


European members

Potential active EBU members

*flag|Liechtenstein: 1FLTV is Liechtenstein's only television broadcaster which began broadcasting on 15 August 2008.
*flag|Morocco: The second commercial channel of Morocco 2M TV has asked for membership to the EBU.
*flag|Syria: ORTAS (Organisme de la Radio-Télévision Arabe Syrienne) - currently an associate member only (1950-58).
*flag|Palestine: PRTV has showed interest in joining the EBU.
*flag|Kosovo: RTK has shown interest in joining the EBU.
*flag|Kazakhstan: El Arna channel, member of Khabar media-holding is not a member, but has purchased rights to broadcast Eurovision Song Contest 2008, an EBU event.

See also

* Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union
* Eurovision Song Contest
* Eurovision Dance Contest
* Eurovision Young Musicians
* Eurovision Young Dancers
* Junior Eurovision Song Contest


External links

* [ EBU Website]

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