KFCB Targets Broadcasters, Streaming Platforms with New Regulation

The media industry will be required to aid in the classification of content, the Kenya Film and Classification Board (KFCB) has proposed in its new regulations. Commercial TV and Radio Stations will be expected to review 70 percent of content aired to determine if they are age-appropriate.

Film creators and digital streaming platforms will also be expected to review 70 percent of their content in compliance with the new regulations aimed at increasing production.

Content includes pre-recorded programmes including movies, advertisements and telenovelas as well as live shows such as News and talk shows.

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The KFCB will carry out the remaining 30 percent classification. Digital streaming platforms such as Netflix, Showmax and Amazon will be required to add age-appropriate symbols in accordance with local film classification guidelines.

“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,” KFCB acting chief executive Christopher Wambua said.

KFCB is currently tasked with the classification of 100 percent of the audiovisual content broadcast in Kenya. The classification fees range from about Sh4,500 and Sh6,000 for a 45 minute movie, Sh1,000 for commercials and Sh300 for a music item.

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The Films and Stageplays Act, Chapter 222 stipulates that a broadcaster or streaming platform that fails to classify its content will be required to submit 100 percent of its content for classification to the KFCB and pay a Sh100,000 penalty for each violation.

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. Currently, Kenya has over 100 TV and 1,000 radio stations.

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“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,” the KFCB said.

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

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Written by Francis Muli

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