EU channel list to be made public

The European Commission will this week make public a database of television channel information for all member states and entry candidates Croatia and Turkey.

MAVISE will be accessible free of charge from Wednesday.

Currently it holds information on 2,700 channels but by the end of the year developers want to cover all those available in the region - estimated at 6,000-7,000.

The European Audiovisual Observatory is the EU public body providing the service for the commission.

"In its present state, the database is far from being complete but the most important channels in audience terms and the main special-interest channels are included and the database is already proving very useful," said the observatory's André Lange.

Information for each country includes a description of the TV "landscape", regulation details, the number of TV households, digital TV penetration and a list of the "technical transmitters".

For broadcasters it lists contact details, parent group and list of channels broadcast. For every channel MAVISE contains the concept and genre, targeted demographics, countries and regions, access arrangements, availability of a high definition version, licence information, distribution and penetration.

Thierry Vissol, an adviser to the commission's Directorate-General for Communication, said: "The European Commission needed a tool that would enable it to understand the world of television in all its complexity. The European Audiovisual Observatory has developed a database for us that takes this complexity into account.

"The public version of the MAVISE database that we are presenting today only contains some of the information gathered by the Observatory. In the context of intellectual property rights, it was not possible to make information on the audiences and financial situation of companies available to the public free of charge."