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Uganda: UCC Orders Pay-TV Operators To Pay New Fees Or Face Shut Down

The Ugandan communications regulator has issued a warning to Pay-TV operators in the country over non-compliance with the new licence fee framework. It has given the operators until April 30 to comply or face close down.

The Commission, in a statement said that “Measures of enforcement shall include but not limited to the closure of broadcasting facilities and prosecution of the offender(s) for illegal broadcasting in accordance with section 27 of the Uganda Communication Commission Act 2013,”

The regulatory body stated that under the updated television licensing framework, all existing broadcasters are required to apply for new licenses. It noted that since the structure came into force in January this year, no service provider has adhered to it yet.

The Pay TV service providers in Uganda released a joint statement that protested this move arguing that the commission took the decision unjustifiably. The operators disclosed that the regulatory agency increased the annual license fees from 22 million shillings to 550 million shillings (around $150,000).

Their argument stated unequivocally that the increased fees would make their services unaffordable because the payment would be transferred as costs to be borne by their customer and this would make Pay TV services unaffordable and place an additional burden on consumers."

These operators include; DSTV, Kwese, GoTV, Azam TV, Star Times and Zuku satellite among others. They said they would not stop engaging UCC for a downwards revisal of the new fee.

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