Until last year, the Ugandan media landscape was gased with foreign programming in the form of soap operas, south African drama, you name it.
This had placed a ceiling on the growth of the local entertainment industry advertently or inadvertently and was evidenced by the relegation of the Ugandan local performing arts, like dramas and comedy shows to crumbling theatre stages and entertainment local bar revellers.
The average of say soap operas on one of the channels was 3 and all running concurrently in the same day. And this is only a conservative estimate.
Other stattions had even more.
The late nights would have their own set of shows.
Well, as you ought to be the know by now, their was a directive passed by the Uganda Communications commission requiring all media houses to air local indigenous content by upto 70% at a minimum of their content.
One could claim that this was NRM’s gift to the entertainment industry and particularly the performing arts, since they are the biggest beneficiaries of this policy decision.
The industry has largely grown out of it’s own effort without a lot of incentives from the government.
That’s besides the point.
When you look at the content and the class of viewers its intended for and looking at the general makeup of our population, you easily conclude most viewers shouldn’t be watching.
It’s fascinating how we prefer the likes of NTV, NBS, channels that are targeting the middle class to which most of the population doesn’t belong.
NTV was the most watched station followed by NBS and Bukedde in a survey carriedout last year. Should it assumed that most of their viewership is ‘middle class.’
There is a lot of tolerence for fantasy or wishful thinking by most. Television is unreal by it’s nature. It’s a fictional representation of events much like movies.
The recent 70% local content has only localise the fictionality much like the effect of dubbing of most movies. Suprisingly, local movies are also dubbed.
Sadly more and more people continue to endulge and even flirt with whatever fanatsies aired on televisons every hour of the day.