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New Content Regulations Are Aimed At Streaming Companies And Content Developers

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New content regulations are aimed at streaming companies and content developers.

Broadcasters, film creators and online streaming service platforms will start classifying content under new regulations meant to keep up with increased production. Commercial television and radio stations will assess 70% of the content shown for age appropriateness to determine if it is suitable for viewing by children of a specific age, while the Kenya Film and Classification Board (KFCB) will review 30%.

Other than live programmings like news and chat shows, this will target pre-recorded programs like movies, commercials, and telenovelas. Netflix, Showmax, and Amazon will also assess 70% of their films and apply KFCB’s age-appropriate insignia based on local film classification criteria.

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This is to help curb misinformation.

The law was enacted in response to the growth of the production and broadcast industries, as well as the spread of unclassified information on electronic media platforms.

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“Classification of one-day content can take one week and we are not able to keep up. So the involvement of the industry is to ensure compliance while coping up with digital expansion,” said KFCB acting chief executive Christopher Wambua.

The KFCB is now required by law to assess and categorize 100% of all audiovisual content intended for display in Kenya. The classification fees for a 45-minute to one-hour film range between Sh4,500 and Sh6,000. According to the Films and Stageplays Act, Chapter 222, commercials are taxed Sh1,000, whereas music items are charged Sh300.

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Failure to classify would result in the guilty broadcaster or online streaming provider having to submit all of their content to the KFCB for classification, with a Sh 100,000 fine for each infraction.

Market dynamics

Kenya has around 100 television stations and 1,000 radio stations. The transition from analogue to digital television transmission, as well as the fast use of the Internet, has resulted in a surge in content production and distribution platforms, requiring the regulator to establish frameworks that are in line with market realities.

“With the existing staffing levels, the film and broadcast content regulator, KFCB, cannot cope with the legal requirement to examine and classify all audiovisual content meant for broadcast, distribution and exhibition in the country,” said the KFCB.

In view of the strong competition from online streaming services, the new regulations will simplify the categorization process for broadcasters and create an enabling regulatory climate for the broadcast sector.

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Vanessa Waithera
Vanessa Waithera
Vanessa Waithera is a young writer from Daystar University. She has been a writer for 7 years and enjoys it as a hobby and passion. During her free time she enjoys nature walks, discoveries ,reading and takes pleasure in new challenges and experiences. Contact: [email protected]

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