Broadcasters required to apply afresh for licenses

October 7, 2014
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CA Director General Francis Wangusi said the authority will soon be announcing the deadline for the license application/FILE
CA Director General Francis Wangusi said the authority will soon be announcing the deadline for the license application/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 7- The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has called on all broadcasters to start applying for new licenses which will among other things require them to air 40 percent local content by June 2015.

CA Director General Francis Wangusi said the authority will soon be announcing the deadline for the license applications adding that “as far as the law is concerned, there is no broadcaster with a license to broadcast at the moment,” due the lengthy court cases in the last two years.

He said media houses have been slow in increasing the broadcasting of local content due to lack of specific regulations which will now feature in the new license.

“There was no motivation for them to move very quickly in trying to impress the content quarter policy. You know we have been in court with some of the broadcasters and that constrained us from going ahead to implement the required laws and regulations. Now that everything has been clarified we want broadcasters to come and take the licenses,” Wangusi said.

At the moment, he says, only two television stations are providing above 40 percent local content with the majority at 30 percent.

Wangusi was speaking during a forum on local content development in Kenya on Tuesday which had brought together players in the broadcasting industry both on analogue and digital platforms.

The initial fees for new licenses will be Sh200,000 for TV stations and Sh100,000 for radio excluding the spectrum fees which they are paying at the moment.

Wangusi said the licenses will be in line with the digital migration and that when it takes effect they will not have to re-apply.

“Part of the license conditions is to compel them (broadcasters) to reach the local content quarter because it’s a policy statement of the government that we should grow local content even up to 60 percent by 2018,” Wangusi added.

In the implementation of the local content rule, broadcasters should ensure that either production deals with issues unique and relevant to Kenyan audiences, 20 percent of production company to be owned by Kenyans, filming to be done in Kenya, 50 percent of authors must be Kenyan or production to be under Kenyan creative and technical control.

In encouraging local content, the government through CA targets to promote national and collective identity, promote development and skill of local talent, create a source of income for artistes, producers, broadcasters and protect the public against offensive content.

At the moment, the annual direct contribution by Kenya Film Industry stands at Sh1.9 bilion compared to that of Nigeria which stands at Sh50.7billion.

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