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Pay television providers to face tough per view rating rules under the new Programming Code

Posted on: 4th March 2019

Communications Authority of Kenya (CA)’s Director, Multimedia Services Eng. Leo Boruett (right) gives remarks during a stakeholder’s workshop on the review of the Programming Code. Next to him is Ms. Rachel Alwala, Assistant Director, Communication and External Affairs at the Authority. The proposed Code  will now encompass pay television providers.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) is currently reviewing the Programming Code that will now encompass pay television providers.

The current Code was developed in 2015 and came to force in 2016 and only targeted the free to air television providers.

The ongoing review process that will now see pay television providers included is in line with  the Authority’s commitment that the Programming Code should be reviewed every two years.

It is also in tandem with the ICT sector law that mandates the Authority to prescribe a Programming Code that sets the standards for the time and manner of programmes to be broadcast by licensees.

On Thursday, Authority engaged various stakeholders in the broadcasting industry on the process of reviewing the Programming Code.

The workshop sort to seek validation of stakeholder comments on the proposed changes on the  Code.

Some of the major issues addressed included; Classification and rating for Subscription and ‘Pay per view’ rating system, Addressing programmes on Broadcast competitions/voting in order to ensure that viewers and listeners are not materially misled, Privacy and Fairness clause and requirements relating to hate speech.

Director General Mr. Francis Wangusi, was represented by The Director for Multimedia Services Department Eng. Leo Boruett.

“Both radio and television combined are accessible to nearly all the people of Kenya, including children. It is therefore of paramount importance that as a nation we must ensure broadcasting programmes maintain the desired standard.  This will not only help to safeguard the moral fabric of the society but also give quality programming to the audiences,” Mr. Wangusi.

Mr. Wangusi also urged the broadcasters to embrace innovation in order to remain competitive and relevant in today’s dynamic broadcasting environment.

CA had in December 2018 published a Public Notice inviting the public and key stakeholders to submit comments on the consultation paper whose details were availed. The 30-days window provided to the stakeholders and the general public to give their comments came to a close on 18th January 2019.

The Authority will further analyse inputs before the proposed programming code is gazetted and is expected to take effect before end of June this year.

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