Many countries have only recently started to grapple with whether IPTV providers should comply with content regulations. In the EU, for example, the European Commission recently decided to amend the Television without Frontiers Directive (“TWF”), last revised in 1997, to address the new scope of audiovisual services. In December 2007, the EC approved the Audiovisual Media Service Directive (“AVMS Directive”), which will apply to all “audiovisual media services” (that is, services providing moving images with or without sound). This includes traditional television broadcasts (termed “linear” audiovisual media services) as well as on-demand services (termed “non-linear”). Under the AVMS Directive, both of these services are subject to a baseline set of rules (for example, rules protecting minors and promoting European productions), but traditional television services will be subject to certain additional obligations. IPTV providers will be subject to the baseline rules when they offer television broadcasting and on-demand services. But they will not have to adhere to the content regulations if they are merely retransmitting television or on-demand programming without altering the content.
In certain jurisdictions, regulators have decided that IPTV providers should be subject to the same content regulation imposed on subscription television providers. For example, IPTV providers in Singapore are subject to the programming code imposed on subscription television providers. In addition, must-carry obligations apply to fixed IPTV operators in numerous EU countries, such as Belgium (in the French-speaking community), France, Sweden, and the UK (although in practice, the parties have negotiated commercial arrangements). The U.S. Federal Communications Commission, however, has yet to rule on what the regulatory status of IPTV will be and whether the must-carry rules will apply to such services.
As in the EU, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended not subjecting telecommunication providers offering IPTV services to content regulation for unaltered content obtained from television broadcasters. TRAI did recommend, however, that IPTV providers be required to comply with the programme and advertisement code under the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act 1995 if they obtain “broadcasting content, Internet-related content or VOD including movie related content.” Examples of this would include music-on-demand, games, or locally developed content. In addition, telecommunication service providers offering IPTV services may only show news channels that have been approved by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
 Telecomm. Reg. Auth. of India (TRAI), Recommendations on Provision of IPTV Services, at 25-26 (Nov. 28 2007).