Local content broadcasting is very important in promoting cultural identity, pluralism and diversity, and enhancing the employment capacity of the nationals. According to The Broadcasting Policy, local content is defined as “Content which recognises the cultural and linguistic diversity of Uganda carrying themes of relevance to the local audience and produced under Ugandan’s creative control”.
It should be noted that international markets favour the products of developed countries that have well-developed broadcasting and production industries. If left unchecked, the foreign content will easily displace local content produced in less developed economies.
The local content quota is vital in developing, protecting and promoting national identity, culture and character. To achieve this, the local content quota will seek to encourage programming which:
- Is produced under Ugandan creative control
- Is identifiably Ugandan and developed for Ugandan audiences and which recognises the diversity of all cultural backgrounds in Ugandan society;
- Will develop a television industry that is owned and controlled by Ugandans;
- Will establish a vibrant, dynamic, creative and economically productive Ugandan film and television industry.
RATIONALE FOR SETTING UP LOCAL CONTENT QUOTA
The rationale for local content quota is:-
- Maintaining and promoting Ugandan cultural diversity and heritage.
- Establishing a vibrant, dynamic, creative and economically productive Ugandan film and television industry.
- Contributing to the development of the economy through the creation of jobs for nationals and increase the tax base.
THE REVIEWED LOCAL CONTENT QUOTA METHODOLOGY
The Uganda Communications Commission has reviewed the methodology for measuring local content on Local televisions in Uganda. In 2013, the Commission set local content Quota for all free-to-air Television broadcasters in Uganda as follows:-
A broadcaster was required to achieve a minimum of 70% of its programming during prime time (6.00pm to 11:00 pm) as local content. 70% consisted of the following:-
- 5%- Sports; and
- 5% of Children’s programmes.
The Commission, after analysing the existing programming and subsequent consultation with different stakeholders, has reviewed the local content measurement methodology while maintaining the Local Content Quota at 70% as the minimum requirement. The new methodology entails the following;
The following genres need special protection and promotion:-
- Children’s programs.
- Knowledge Building and Educational programs
Other genres considered for local content measurement are;
- Current Affairs
- Religious Programs
- Reality programs
The new methodology will measure all genres above, and each station is expected to broadcast protected genres and other genres to meet the minimum local content quota of 70% of the measured period.
METHODOLOGY MEASUREMENT SUMMARY
Measured Period in a day: 5:00 am – 12:00 am (Midnight) (Total of 19 hours)
Prime time: 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Off Prime time: 5:00 am – 6:00 pm and 11:00 pm – 12:00 am
Incentives for protected genres:
a) Prime time – 80% of the score is added to the total score as a bonus.
b) Off Prime time – 20% of the score is added to the total score as a bonus.
Duration. A program duration excludes the allowable time of up to 15 minutes per hour reserved for advertisement(s), community service announcement(s).
Unit measure: One week (7 days)
Total Time Measured (minutes):
a) Total Measured period: 45 minutes * 19 hours * 7 days = 5,985 minutes
b) Measured Period (Protected Genres): 50% *5,985= 2,993 minutes
c) Measured Period (Other Genres) 70% *50% *5,985= 2,095 minutes
Protected Genres = Drama Score + Children’s Score + Documentary Score + Sports Score + Knowledge Building & Educational Programs score.