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Ibrahim Bbossa @IBbossa
, 15 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
You will recall that Pay TV operators raised concerns about the new broadcasting licensing regime by UCC. A formal joint statement by all Pay TV operators shocked the public especially the claim of a unjustified fee increase.
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In a meeting on 26th April 2018, UCC agreed to halt any enforcement action to allow parties involved to harmonise positions on issues raised by the Pay TV operators. Having concluded the said discussions with Pay TV Operators, the following reflect agreed positions.@Pamankunda
1. UCC agreed with the submission by Pay TV Operators that providers without physical infrastructure in Uganda shall not be required to obtain Public Infrastructure Provider (PIP) Licenses. This was more of a clarification of the license provision, than a matter of contention.
2. Operators providing services through Terrestrial, Cable & other transmission infrastructure based within Uganda shall be required to obtain PIP licenses. This was more of a clarification for operators with both infrastructure & content provision that will need both licenses.
3. All broadcasters providing services to final consumers, regardless of the technology used, shall be required to obtain a Public Service Provider (PSP) License. This license includes operators who land their broadcast content into Uganda using any form of technology
4. PIP licenses shall be for a period of 15 years while PSP licenses shall be for a period of 5 years renewable upon satisfactory performance of the license terms and conditions and in accordance with the law. This was reaffirmed and not much of a contention. @UCC_Official
5. Pay TV operators shall pay an Annual license fee of USD 25,000 or 0.65%
of the operator's Gross Annual Revenue, whichever is higher. Operator shall be required to submit Audited books of account in accordance with the reporting requirements specified in the license agreement.
The Pay TV operators drove a hard bargain on the license fees and were grid locked at 0.5%. However, UCC considered a number of goals and concerns in arriving at the 0.65% fee. In addition to assessing historical revenue patterns and projections also considered the following;
The new license fee took into consideration; Regulatory Equitability by applying near-similar licensing to Broadcast & telecom Infrastructure; Regulatory Proportionality based on the fact that there're different sized broadcasters from small indigenous players to multinationals.
Regional & International Fees Comparison was considered since a No. of operators here are multi-market players with operations regionally, the fees are intended to position Uganda as a regionally attractive/competitive Mkt whilst earning fair returns from prospective investors
6. Pay TV operators shall carry a minimum of 20% local content on their broadcast platforms. Where an operator fails to meet the 20% local content threshold, UCC shall determine an amount of monetary contribution to be made by the operator towards the Content Development Fund
This is particularly a good compromise on two grounds. First, operators claim there is not enough good quality local content to fill the 20% quota. Secondly, it makes sense to establish a Content Development Fund to promote the development of quality local content. its a win-win
7. Regarding the 2% Gross Annual Revenue, UCC noted concerns raised by broadcasters & agreed in the meeting with NAB Executive on 8th May 2018 to allow broadcasters to engage the Ministry of ICT & NG and/or Parliament on the possibility of amending the provision on the Levy.
However, until the amendment to the law is effected, the 2% levy on GAR is a statutory requirement on all broadcasters, including Pay TV operators and the Commission reserves the right to require Pay TVs to make this payment. @Pamankunda @UCC_Official @GCICUganda @ChimpReports
The Commission has thus reminded all Pay TV Operators to apply for the appropriate licenses not later than Wednesday 30th May 2018. Until then, this means that non of the Pay TV providers is licensed to operate in the country not a good position in terms of consumer protection
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