KTN leads in airing local content

KTN Home channel is among television stations leading in airing local content, a new report shows.

The report commissioned by Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), and conducted by GlobeTrack International, revealed that 38 per cent of programmes KTN airs are local, coming second only to State-owned national broadcaster KBC (42 per cent). K24, Citizen TV and NTV follow.

The report was released yesterday ahead of the July 1 deadline when all local stations are expected to have implemented a new programming code requiring that at least 60 per cent of content should be local.

On production of local content aired in-house, KTN ranked highly at 85 per cent of the content, only behind K24 with 87 per cent. KBC, NTV and Citizen TV followed respectively.

"In 2015, the Authority developed a Programme Code, through a public consultation with the involvement of various stakeholders. The Code which many of you are familiar with provides that a broadcaster be given one year to attain 40 per cent local content quota upon licensing, and four years to attain a 60 per cent threshold," Francis Wangusi, the director general of CA, noted in a speech read on his behalf during the release of the study.

Wangusi added: "These findings are therefore meant to offer a foundation upon which the new regime will operate."

The study conducted between February 22 and May 22, involved established TV stations as well as emerging ones, some of which sprang up after digital migration.

The research, however, returned a not-so-rosy verdict on the content aired by emerging TV channels noting that most of them lack variety in programming.

"Majority are inconsistent in programming and the main content is music, news and talk shows that address current issues. There is a lot of repetition of these programs and the average local content for emerging stations is 54 per cent while production is mainly in house."

Some of the top genres found to take up most of the local content include music at 36 per cent, followed by religious shows, comedy, movies and sports among others.

"On one hand, the Local Content Baseline Survey sought to determine the proportion of local content aired by Free-To-Air (FTA) television broadcasters as well as identify audience perceptions and attitudes towards local content. The study recommends policy and regulatory interventions that can spur uptake of local content," stated Wangusi adding that local content contributes to Kenya's social and cultural development besides providing entertainment.