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UCC orders Spark to suspend Live Wire

The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has directed local broadcaster Spark TV to suspend its Live Wire programme.

The order comes after Spark TV ignored the regulator’s directive to reschedule Live From from its evening slot to a time between 22.00 and 05.00 because of its adult-themed content.

The UCC had instructed 11 TV stations to reschedule certain programmes, with Spark TV being the only one that failed to comply. Shows affected include NBS TV’s Uncut Sabula and Uncut Kalakata, Urban TV’s Short Circuit Sonsomola, ABS TV’s Evening Zone, Baba TV’s Poko Poko, and BBS TV’s Roundabout.

According to the UCC, Spark TV went ahead to air the programme as scheduled, indicating that it was not culpable of any breach.

After defying the commission’s directive, Spark TV has been ordered to submit recordings of Live Wire that aired between September 1 and October 20 this year and to “immediately suspend Live Wire until it has satisfactorily demonstrated that the programme has been appropriately scheduled in accordance with the directive of 18th October 2021.”

Outlining its concerns around Live Wire and the other shows, the UCC said:  “The programmes contain adult content, sexual innuendos and profanity, with the potential to disturb and harm some members of the public, especially children; tThe presenters of the programmes often appear on air when dressed indecently in skimpy outfits; the programmes often contain inaccurate, misleading and unverified content, which often defames other individuals.”

The broadcasters have been reminded to ensure their programmes comply with minimum broadcasting standards enshrined in the Uganda Communications Act, 2013, the Uganda Communications (Content) Regulations 2019, and other relevant laws.

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