As viewers in Kenya celebrate the availability of Netflix streaming service locally, and without the use of VPNs. It now emerges those bubbles of joy could soon be popped up if the local broadcasting regulator Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) makes good of its threats.
The regulator KFCB says it first learned of Netflix availability in Kenya through the media; I bet on social media. Netflix did not follow the due diligence of informing the regulator about its planned expansion of its streaming services into Kenya.
KFCB expected Netflix first to submit materials detailing the type of content it will be airing to viewers for the regulator to rate and vet them before being aired.
While addressing the press, KFCB boss Ezekiel Mutua said, “In fact, we are just learning about them on the media, but they are yet to come to our offices to have their content counter-checked so that it does not go against our national values and morals.”
KFCB argues that it is imperative for any foreign broadcasters looking to air content locally, to first ensure they adhere to the guidelines set by the regulator.
Mutua argues, “It is not as if in their countries there are no classification models. But it is not necessarily that their models are parallel with ours, so they need to submit their content we have them aligned to our classification model.”
Netflix expanded its streaming services to an additional 130 countries worldwide. The company made this announcement at the just concluded CES 2016 event in Las Vegas, USA. As far as Kenya is concerned, Netflix will be looking at leveraging on the 38 million plus mobile users in the country; of which, 21.6 million users use mobile devices to access the Internet services.
Kenya’s leading mobile services carrier, Safaricom had in 2014 tabled a report showing smartphone penetration rate in the domestic market had hit 67 percent. That should mean that Netflix has quite a surmountable target market in Kenya.