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Fatboy & Olive: Broadcasters Right To Reject UCC's Directive Of Freely Airing Covid-19 Sensitization

RX Radio Presenters Fatboy and Olive have sided with Ugandan broadcasters in their decision to deny free airtime for Covid-19 talk shows.

On 23rd December, UCC issued a directive to radio and television broadcasters in the country requiring them to provide Resident City Commissioners, Resident District Commissioners and District Health Officers with free airtime from 8:00pm to 8:30pm to sensitize and encourage the public to get vaccinated.

However, in their response, the Head of the National Association for Broadcasters Kin Kariisa in his letter dated 27th December, stated that even though they recognized the Government’s efforts to sensitize masses, they wouldn't be providing airtime for free without commercial bookings.

Olive, as she voiced yesterday on The Fatboy show, maintained that the stations are also businesses that need to make money. “They are asking us to create time and give the government free services. Really? After all the money they have received to fight the pandemic, the least they can do is pay for airtime,” she said.

She argued that besides accepting to hold Presidential addresses for free as decreed, it would be unfair for UCC to dictate the time and ask for it freely without respect for the businesses and programs originally aired at the time.

“It is quite a stretch because at 8:30, some television stations are airing news. They would therefore be inclined to cut the broadcast because UCC selected it yet it’s prime time where almost everyone is glued to their television or radio.”

Fatboy further mentioned that the time is not conducive because broadcasting stations gain handsomely from advertisers and related sponsors due to the large audience tuned in to the stations in the evenings.

“The directive is manipulative and I applaud the NAB for standing against and defending its counterparts,” the Presenter concluded.

The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive, Sarah and Lesham every weekday from 6am to 10am on RX Radio.

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