The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has suspended the licence of vernacular station Mt Kenya TVfor four weeks for airing inappropriate content last week.
The CA said that the television station had aired adult content during the watershed period in the programme “Mucii wa Ciana” that aired on the afternoon of April 19, which exposed children to harmful content, especially at a time they are at home on holiday.
The programme featured an animated movie titled “Free Jimmy”, which the communications regulator said contained sexually explicit content and scenes of drug abuse and violence which breached the Programming Code and ICT laws.
The channel, owned by Slopes Media House, was also fined Sh500,000 and ordered to take all its staff to the CA within seven days for training on the programming code.
“In particular, the authority established that the licensee had aired adult content during the watershed period, and at a time when most children were at home during the school holidays, thus occasioning grievous harm to the minors who may have been exposed to the offensive content,” the CA said.
The CA charged the station with violating Part IV (19) of the Kenya Information and Communications (Broadcasting) Regulations of 2009 which outlaws presenting sexual matters in an explicit and offensive manner.
The regulator also faulted the station for breaching Part IV (20) of the same regulations which requires licensed broadcasters to avoid airing content that is disturbing or harmful to children, with offensive language, explicitly sexual or violent material during the watershed hours.
Not rated by KFCB
The CA added that Mt Kenya TV aired content that has not been classified or rated by the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) and had not acquired the requisite intellectual property rights from the Kenya Copyright Board (Kecobo) for the content.
The station, which was summoned by the authority three days after airing the programme, acknowledged that it was aired during watershed hours and attributed it to a content mix-up in the control room.
However, the station failed to tell the regulator how the explicit content had ended up in the content server.
The ban comes barely a month after Homeboyz Radio was fined Sh1 million by the CA over remarks made by its presenters who demeaned a woman who was thrown off a building after she declined a man’s sexual advances.