Uganda’s Communications Commission (UCC) wants to significantly raise the costs of the annual licence fee to the country’s pay-TV operators.
Currently, operators have their operating licences issued for an annual payment of 540 million Ugandan shillings (€122,600).
UCC is complaining that this is a tiny proportion of the estimated $81 million a year now being paid by consumers to pay-TV operators.
“We know their revenue that is why we are saying they should pay us this much,” Pamella Ankunda, UCC spokesperson said to newspaper The East African. Her colleague, UCC’s Manager for Consumer Affairs, Ibrahim Bbosa said “a committee has been setup comprised of all players to come up with a percentage rate for Uganda taking into consideration what’s happening within the region.”
Officially, the rules (Section 68(3) of the Communications Act) require UCC to levy not less than 2 per cent on the gross annual revenue of all broadcasters.
The UCC has been trying to audit broadcasters’ books in order to determine what might be possible, but The East African says that for 4 years the accounts have failed to be submitted. In a March statement the UCC has written to all the local players saying they must comply, or risk being closed down.
The Uganda pay-TV market is dominated by Chinese media giant StarTimes, South Africa’s Multi Choice – owners of Dstv and GOtv, Zuku TV, Kwese TV, StarSat TV and DTT.