Pay TV Providers Hit Back at UCC Over Non-Compliance Claims

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In short
In a joint press statement published this morning, the Pay Television Service Providers, say they have been in talks with UCC on its new licensing frame work to ensure its enabling and appropriate, but they are surprised by the regulators claim that all Ugandan Pay TV providers are non-compliant

Pay Television Service Providers are up in arms against Uganda Communications Commission-UCC for claiming they are non-compliant and advising Ugandans not to deal with them.  

In a joint press statement published this morning, the Pay Television Service Providers, say they have been in talks with UCC on its new licensing frame work to ensure its enabling and appropriate, but they are surprised by the regulator's claim that all Ugandan Pay TV providers are non-compliant.
 
They cite a proposal by UCC to increase the annual license fees for Pay TV operators from Shillings 22 million to Shillings 550M plus the 2 percent levy on the gross revenue of the operators alongside other regulatory fees.

"Pay TV operators will have no choice but to pass on these increased fees to subscribers if we to survive, which we are reluctant to do as it would make Pay TV services unaffordable and place an additional burden to consumers," reads the statement.
 
Adding that, "Pay TV operators have been engaging with the UCC motivating for a consumer and investor friendly licensing regime that will make pay TV services more affordable and increase rather than decrease up take of Pay TV services."
 
Last week, UCC issued a public notice reminding the service providers to comply with the new license regime or stop providing television services in the country. The television service providers include Multichoice Uganda, Azam media, GOtv, Star times, Zuku and Kwese
 
The commission gave an ultimatum to the service providers of up to the end of this month, to have complied with the regulations or face closure. 

"The commission shall, with effect April 30th commence vigorous enforcement against all pay TV providers that will continue broadcasting without complying with the law," read the notice.  Following the transition to digital broadcasting, UCC carried out consultations with which led to the introduction of a new licensing framework. The framework requires all broadcasters to apply for new licenses or adapt their existing licenses to the new licensing regime.
 

 

About the author

Ahmed Wetaka
Ahmed Wetaka is a URN editor. Wetaka is also the editor-in-charge of Up Country bureaus. All bureau chiefs out of Kampala answer to Wetaka. Wetaka has been a URN staff member since 2007.

Wetaka started his career as Mbale Daily Monitor freelance writer. He was also the Open Gate FM reporter, anchor, talk show host and news editor from 2000.

Wetaka is a keen follower of public affairs developments, politics and religion. In 2014, Wetaka managed to fulfill an important Muslim rite of Haj to Mecca.