The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) has proposed new rules that will see the involvement of industry players in the examination and classification of content meant to air on their respective platforms.
According to the Co-Regulation Framework for broadcast, Video on Demand (VOD) and Over the Top (OTT) content, KFCB proposes to allow broadcasters, and online streaming service providers to classify 70 percent of audiovisual content on their platforms using the local film classification guidelines.
Under the proposed arrangement, KFCB will only classify 30 percent of the content meant for broadcast on traditional broadcasting and new media platforms. To ensure compliance, the local film and broadcast content regulator shall undertake regular audits on 70% of the self-classified content.
Broadcasters, VOD and Online streaming service platforms will be allowed to self-classify a predetermined proportion of audiovisual content intended to air on their respective platforms only after their staff undergo training on the KFCBs Film Classification Guidelines.
According to the proposed Framework, content broadcasters, VOD and OTT platform operators will be allowed to affix KFCB’s age-appropriate symbols on self-classified content.
Currently, the law requires KFCB to examine and classify audiovisual content meant for broadcast, distribution, and exhibition in the country. However, digitization and increase in the number of players in the broadcast sector has witnessed a proliferation of unclassified audio-visual content on broadcast, VOD, OTT and online streaming platforms.
The migration from analogue to digital TV transmission and the rapid increase and penetration of the internet has also resulted in an increase in content production and content distribution platforms, making it necessary for the regulator to rethink its regulatory processes and frameworks to cope up with market dynamics.
With the existing staffing levels, the film and broadcast content regulator, KFCB, cannot cope with the legal requirement to examine and classify all audiovisual content meant for broadcast, distribution and exhibition in the country.
Implementation of the proposed Framework is expected to lead to enhanced industry compliance with the Films and Stage Plays Act as well as ease the process of examination and classification for broadcasters, in light of the rapidly evolving market and technological dynamics.
The framework is also meant to facilitate an enabling regulatory environment for the broadcast sector which has come under intense competition from digital platforms, including VOD and online streaming services.
KFCB has published the framework on its website for public and stakeholder comments and input. The consultation closes next month on April 4.
The consultation document can be accessed on https://kfcb.go.ke/policies