Your Content Is 90% Vulgar But You Want 90% Airplay On Private Media, Sorry!-NAB Responds To Artists Before Parliamentary Committee

Your Content Is 90% Vulgar But You Want 90% Airplay On Private Media, Sorry!-NAB Responds To Artists Before Parliamentary Committee

By Spy Uganda 

Kampala: Media owners under their umbrella body National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) have dismissed demands by Musicians in Uganda to have 90% of the airplay from the media industry, whom they also accuse of using their content with no reasonable payments.

As per Uganda communications commission (UCC)Act, government had pushed for 60% local content to support Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) and local talent promotion. However greedy artistes are not satisfied and are demanding for 90% airplay whose 90%, according to NAB members, is sheer vulgar content destined to destroy the young generation.

NAB’s response comes after a team of musicians from Uganda National Musicians Association petitioned Parliament seeking their intervention to push for a 90% air play of their content and a fair share of tax revenue from their used content.

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The petition which is before the Committee on Information, Communication, Technology and National Guidance on 3rd October 2023 seeks for the amendment of the copyright and neighboring rights Act 2006 with several proposals including;

  • -Requiring broadcasters to dedicate 90% of airtime to Ugandan music as away of promoting local content and supporting the development of the music industry.
  • -Enforcement of strict measures against broadcasters who use pirated and the proposed fine of UGX 5 Million.
  • -Registration and regulation of all third parties including telecom aggregators who are involved in the distribution of and dissemination of copyrighted content.
  • -Revision of charges of caller ring back tunes and caller tune payments to artists among other demands.

However in response, while appearing before the Committee on Information, Communication, Technology and National Guidance, representatives from NAB and other media players watered down the demands of the artists saying their content is not equivalent to their demands neither does it have the quality to qualify for the 90% air play on both radios and televisions, further tasking them to improve the quality of their content to make such demands.

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While appearing before the committee Dr. Innocent Nahabwe, the vice Chairman, NAB noted that as broadcasters, they have their own standards and values that guide their programing depending on their target audiences.

”While as we respect the rights and desire by artists to have their music aired on Ugandan media platforms, we find their proposal not rational. Broadcasters are independent legal entities duly incorporated under the laws of Uganda with independence to choose business models and develop programing that suit their unique business interests or target audiences” he said while presenting the response by NAB to the committee.

”Broadcasters do not operate just to entertain, they also have other legitimate objectives of broadcasting like information and education which are not necessarily achieved through every type of music. It is also noteworthy that not all broadcasters play music,” he added.

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According to NAB, the implementation of such a proposal would be challenged by not only media owners but also consumers of broadcast content for being unfair and an intrusion of their freedom and right to exercise their choices of content or entertainment which they say could be worsened by the fact that not all music produced by Ugandan artists is developmental and suitable for persons of all ages.

Furthermore NAB implored musicians that instead of imposing a one sided proposal on the media industry, they should also jointly apply for their own broadcast licenses and run their own broadcasting stations where they can dedicate their entire time to promotion of music works.

In the same vein, Andrew Irumba Katusabe, the president for Independent Online Journalists Association-Uganda (Indoja-U) who also doubles as the CEO Spy Uganda raised concern over the vulgarity of the content being produced by the artists who are demanding massive airplay with no shame.

This is a liberalized economy, what the artists are asking for is from the private business who put them up having studied the market needs. Even the 70% that UCC enforced through their act, the musicians are misusing it. When you listen to all these local media houses, if they were to play 90% which the artists are asking, 90% will be vulgarity, does this country want to promote vulgarity? Irumba wondered, adding that ”we cannot allow that, let your quality speak for itself and push your business”.

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