Late last year, the Communications Authority of Kenya released targets for Media houses to meet in terms of percentage levels of local content aired set on yearly terms; 40% by June 2015, 50% by June 2016 and 60% by June 2018.
Media houses have given foreign content priority over the years in result suffocating growing talent and skills in the Kenyan market. The government has also cited lost revenue caused by the growing imbalances in television content. According to Communications Authority of Kenya, ‘local content’ is only local if 30 percent of the production is Kenyan owned.
As of now, Citizen is the leading television channel in regard with local content transmission with 38% of its content being local. The figures are however below 40% target percentage set for June 2015. However, with the digital migration process just about done, the government is adamant local content will flood the industry with plans underway to direct TV broadcasters increase the transmission ratio of local content to 60 percent.
To nab rule offenders, the government promised to have penalties applied to ensure local content is given priority by the companies which will in turn stabilize performance of the industry in the country. CA will also see to it that local content is shared equally between media house production and Independent local producers.
Local television channels have since then increased on local content aired during prime time with a majority of them airing local programmes throughout the week. KISS TV is however trailing in the adoption of local content currently transmitting only 18% homemade content.
Amid efforts to push for increased local content on television channels, Communications Authority is looking to get into a Memorandum of Understanding with Competition Authority in a bid to set regulations to help control content transmission by media houses as well as protect the consumer in the same breathe.
Even as the industry is looking forward to feed local content demand, the regulator will soon roll out new regulations guiding broadcasting, licencing, cybercrime, cybersecurity and frequency spectrum to avoid misunderstanding between concerned parties like recently witnessed. Increased contribution of Information Communication and Technology to the country’s GDP is also a pronounced factor the authority is looking to work on.