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UCC suspends two TV shows over breach of directives

By Mico  26 October 2021 11:14 am EAT

The Communications regulator has suspended Spark TV's Livewire and Urban TV's Short Circuit Sonsomola programmes after they defied the Oct 18 directive stopping them from airing during the watershed period (5 am - 10 pm)

Two TV programmes suspended

"That the presenters of the programmes often appear on air when dressed indecently in skimpy outfits..."

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Uganda Communications Commission after a meeting on October 7 issued a directive on October 18 that adult-themed gossip programmes have to run between 10 pm and 5 am if at all they wished to keep them on air.

The also had to comply with the Minimum Broadcasting Standards.

These were some of the observations that the triggered the regulators actions.

  • The programmes contain adult content, sexual innuendos and profanity, with the potential to disturb and harm some members of the public, especially children.
  • That the language and statements used by the presenters and guests in the programmes are often abusive, demeaning, derogatory, and contain unsubstantiated claims against different personalities.
  • That the programmes contain inaccurate, misleading and unverified content, which often defame individuals.
  • That the content in the programmes often invade the privacy of individuals, contains unbalanced reporting, and denies the persons reported against the right of response or an opportunity to reply against allegations made against them during the programmes.
  • That the programmes contain adult-oriented content, sexual innuendos and profanity, with the potential to disturb and harm children.
  • That the presenters of the programmes often appear on air when dressed indecently in skimpy outfits
  • Considering the adult-oriented nature of the content discussed during these programmes, they are not appropriately scheduled. 
  • As a result, the audience is not warned about the nature of content often contained in the programmes.
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UCC further directed that copies of academic qualifications, proof of certification and registration of Short Circuit presenters and producers were to be availed ahead of a hearing at the UCC house slated for November 5, 2021.

As for Spark TV, in a letter dated 20 October 2021, they insisted that they were not culpable for any breach and therefore, went on to air the programme which forced UCC to swing into action.

The affected programmes, known for broadcasting mostly gossip and celebrity news, are: NBS TV’s Uncut Sabula and Uncut Kalakata, Spark TV’s Live Wire, Urban TV’s Short Circuit Sonsomola, ABS TV’s Evening Zone, Baba TV’s Poko Poko, and BBS TV’s Roundabout.

Others are, Dream TV’s Tik Taka Sesetura, Kingdom TV’s Kapyaki, STV’s Select E-Buzz, BTM TV’s Access, and Top TV’s Kachumbali.

In the days leading up to the actions by the regulator, there was a heated argument between a TV host and an artist with the latter threatening the use of acid to instill 'discipline' and in another case, three TV hosts were locked up at Kitalya prison following sorcery claims.

With children having been home for prolonged periods as a result of the pandemic, the regulator found it wise to protect them from the adult-themed gossip shows.

SourceUganda Online

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