Law 16/2024 of February 5 has been published, amending the Radio Law approved by Law 54/2010 of December 24 for the third time
Amendment to the Radio Law
February 5, 2024

Main amendments introduced by Law 16/2024 of February 5 (“Law 16/2024”):

  • Portuguese music broadcasting

Music programming for radio services in Portugal must now consist of a fixed 30% quota of Portuguese music, replacing the previous 25%–40% range. However, a total or partial exemption from this quota may be requested if it can be demonstrated that the programming model of a thematic program service is unequivocally based on an underrepresented genre in Portuguese music production.

Also, this quota must consist of at least 60% Portuguese-language music performed by citizens of European Union (“EU”) Member States. Portuguese music that is solely “composed by citizens of EU Member States cannot be considered for the purpose of meeting this requirement.

The rule for the fixed quota of 30% Portuguese music remains unchanged. Therefore, at least 35% of this quota must consist of music that was first recorded or publicly released in the past 12 months. However, for monitoring purposes, the person or entity responsible for recording or releasing the music must communicate this fact to the Portuguese Regulatory Authority for the Media (“ERC”) within 30 days from the public release date of the Portuguese music works, as defined under Law 16/2024. This communication can be sent directly or through a representative entity. To summarize, the deadline for sending this communication has been extended from “the public release date of Portuguese music works” to within 30 days from that date.

As regards compliance with the above quotas, considering the monthly music programming as a whole, these percentages must be observed for music programs broadcast (i) from Monday to Friday, and (ii) between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. 

  • Portuguese music broadcasting exemption

To be exempt from the above quotas on broadcasting Portuguese music, a reasoned application must be submitted to the ERC to recognize total or partial exemption from the obligation to comply with these Portuguese music quotas.

As explained above, the application should also demonstrate that the programming model of a certain thematic program service is unequivocally based on an underrepresented genre in Portuguese music production.

The ERC will determine whether the exemption applies within 30 days of receiving this application.

If granted, the exemption from the fixed Portuguese music quota is valid for three years from the date it is recognized by the ERC. The exemption can also be renewed successively for equal periods upon reasoned request from the interested parties, with a minimum three-month notice period before the respective term ends.

  • Duties of cooperation with and provision of information to the ERC

To promote relations between representative sector associations, the ERC is required to create self-regulatory agreements and other instruments that foster cooperation between these associations and the ERC. This is to ensure proper enforcement of the Radio Law, while also clarifying any doubts related to important issues or their interpretation among members.

Every month, radio operators must provide the ERC with all information necessary for monitoring compliance with Portuguese music obligations. Radio operators should submit this information electronically, preferably through ERC’s electronic platform, and the information should pertain to the previous month.

  • Entry into force

These updates entered into force on February 6, except for program services that currently benefit from an exemption from the general quota regime. For these services, the updates will take effect within 90 days.

February 5, 2024