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Indicators of Risks to Media Pluralism

Media Audience Concentration

This indicator assesses the concentration of audience and readership across media platforms based on audience share. Concentration is measured by using the nationwide biggest 4 owners in the market.

Result:
HIGH RISK (EXCEPT: ONLINE)

Why?
With a highly concentrated broadcasting and print market, and a low media concentration in the online sector, media audience concentration puts a HIGH RISK on media pluralism in Tanzania.

The print market shows a high audience concentration. We looked at the Top 4 companies in the news-focused print market: Mwananchi Communication Limited (under the umbrella of Nation Media Group: XX.XXX%), IPP Media Group ( XX.XXX%), New Habari (2006) Ltd. ( XX.XXX%), and the state-owned Tanzanian Standard Newspaper (TSN,  XX.XXX ). They get through their news print outlets together get XX.XXX% of the readership. MCL is privately owned and runs under the umbrella of Nation Media Group, which is based in Kenya and financed by the Aga Khan Development Fund. IPP Media Group is a private enterprise, which is owned by successful businessman Dr. Reginald Mengi. New Habari (2006) Ltd. is associated with the politician and businessman Rostam Aziz, while the shareholders are relatively unknown except some leads on their connection to Aziz. The concentration describes the situation for news-focused print market excluding sports newspapers, however, the dominant players remain the same even if you include sports papers.

The TV market is highly concentrated, as the major 4 companies (IPP:  XX.XXX%), the state-run Tanzanian Broadcasting Corporation (TBC):  XX.XXX%, Azam Media Limited:  XX.XXX% and Cloud Entertainment Ltd.:  XX.XXX  represent an audience share of  XX.XXX%. The IPP Group is owned by the media entrepreneur Dr. Reginald A. Mengi. TBC is a public broadcaster on paper and state-run in practice. The Bakhresa family owns Azam Media Limited which belongs to their huge Bakhresa Group of companies which runs business ranging from food to ferries. Joseph Kusaga, who founded Clouds FM and made it big, also holds the majority shares in the company – while a number of his family members holder the remaining shares.

The RADIO market is comparatively more diverse and ‘market leaders’ differ from region to region. Again, Cloud Entertainment Ltd.:  XX.XXX% , IPP ( XX.XXX%), and the state-run Tanzanian Broadcasting Corporation (TBC):  XX.XXX%  - like in TV - have a considerable standing in the market with each of them operating several stations. Sahara Media Group Ltd. from Mwanza, which holds several radio stations and TV, follows with  XX.XXX%  audience share. There was no official company profile available at the Business Registry BRELA. Reports name Dr. Anthony Diallo, a politician and former Member of Parliament, as founder, CEO and owner of the company. He also represents the media group on public events. The radio market shows a medium to high concentration as the top 4 radio companies reach  XX.XXX% of the listenership.

For the ONLINE market, MCT commissioned a snapshot study on the most popular websites. The most popular news websites – excluding social networks – are independent blogs. They are not linked to any traditional media but create an alternative news supply and sphere for discussion. There is a low audience concentration as the users mention a variety of online news outlets. The 4 online media companies that were mentioned most as news sources by ca.  XX.XXX% of the surveyed people, that we selected.

The owners started of as bloggers and digital entrepreneur and do not seem to have other interests in business and politics. Jamii Forum, founded by Max Melo, and Mike Mushi, is the most known and used blog ( XX.XXX%). Millard Ayo, started a blog named after him ( XX.XXX%) as well as Issa Michuzi, ( XX.XXX%). Muungwana Blog, also amongst the most mentioned, was founded and now owned by Muungwana by Rashid Malik Said who keeps a low profile.

LIMITS:
Audience shares for TV and Radioare based on the GeoPoll surveys for Q2, 2018. Consumption of print and online is based on a GeoPoll snapshot survey via text messages, carried out for two days in Aug/Sep. GeoPoll is perceived as credible organization, however, methodologically the studies have their limits. The universe e.g. is limited to Tanzanians that own a mobile phone - who tend to be younger, male, and more urban than the average Tanzanian.

 

LOWMEDIUM
HIGH
Audience concentration in television (horizontal) 

Percentage:

If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share below 25%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share between 25% and 49%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share above 50%. 
Audience concentration in Radio (horizontal) 

Percentage: 

If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share below 25%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share between 25% and 49%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share above 50%. 
Readership concentration in newspapers (horizontal) 

Percentage:

If within one country the major 4 Owners have a readership share below 25%. If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a readership share between 25% and 49%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a readership share above 50%. 
Audience concentration in Internet (horizontal) 

Percentage: audience shares not available, only unique visitors

If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share below 25%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share between 25% and 49%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share above 50%. 

Media Market Concentration

This indicator aims to assess the horizontal concentration of ownership within the media sector. Concentration is measured by using the Top4 concentration measure.

Result:
The media market concentration based on market shares could not be computed. While the Business Registrations and Licensing Agency (BRELA) provides access to some ownership data, financial data (revenue, advertising etc.) was not available a) per media company b) as market share and c) for the media sector.


Score: 

LOWMEDIUMHIGH
Media market concentration in television (horizontal): This indicator aims to assess the concentration of ownership within the TV media sector. 
Percentage:  not assessed
If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share below 25%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share between 25% and 49%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share above 50%. 
Media market concentration in radio (horizontal): This indicator aims to assess the concentration of ownership within the Radio media sector.    
Percentage: not assessed
If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share below 25%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share between 25% and 49%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share above 50%. 
Media market concentration in newspapers (horizontal): This indicator aims to assess the concentration of ownership within the print sector.
Percentage: not assessed
If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share below 25%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share between 25% and 49%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share above 50%. 
Media market concentration in Internet Content Providers 
Percentage: not assessed
If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share below 25%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share between 25% and 49%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share above 50%.  

Regulatory Safeguards: Media Ownership Concentration

This indicator assesses the existence and effective implementation of regulatory safeguards (sector-specific and/or competition law) against a high horizontal concentration ownership and/or control in the different media.

Result:
HIGH RISK

Why?

  • The relevant provisions of the Constitution do not include any articles or clauses aimed at preventing media concentration and monopolies. The two media laws which were enacted recently - the Media Services Act and the Access to Information Act - do not address the issue of media concentration and the issue seems to be non-agenda to the legislators and policy makers for now.
  • There is only one limit to media ownership: Foreign ownership in media houses should not exceed 49 per cent, according to the Information and Broadcasting Policy, 2003, as well as the Media Services Regulations, 2017.
  • Licensing in the audio-visual sector depends on the available frequencies. Electronic media in Tanzania is regulated by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), a body corporate established under the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority Act, 2003. TCRA issues, renews and cancel licenses. The powers of the authority, however, as regards to awarding or cancelling a license with an exclusivity period or universal service obligations or having a term of five or more years cannot be exercised without prior consultation with the Minister and the relevant sector Minister.
  • In the print sector, the Media Services Act, 2016, repealed the much contested Newspapers Act of 1976 that had given the Minister for Information powers to prohibit publication of a newspaper and treated defamation, which is supposed to be a civil wrong, a criminal offence which attracts custodial sentence. Under new law, the Director of Information Services licenses print media and has the powers to reject or cancel license if application does not comply with requirement or the licensee violates conditions of license.
  • Under the Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations, 2018, bloggers, just like online radio and TV websites, are required to be licensed by the TCRA. Bloggers are required to pay for application fee of 100,000/-; initial license fee of 1,000,000/; annual license fee 1,000,000/- and renewal fee of 100,000/-, while television and radio license (streaming content on the internet) will pay application fee of 50,000/-; initial fee of 200,000/-; annual fee of 200,000/- and renewal fee of 200,000/-.
  • Media-specific regulations for blocking a merger or acquisition don’t exist. There is also no competition body that would interfere with mergers and acquisition.


    Regulatory Safeguard Score:
    0 out of 20 – High Risk (0%).
    1 = media-specific regulation/ authority
    0.5= competition-related regulation/ authority

    Table summarizes TV/Radio/Online/Print - Max. score: 4 per sector.    DescriptionYesNoNAMD
    Does the media legislation contain specific thresholds or limits, based on objective criteria (e.g. number of licenses, audience share, circulation, distribution of share capital or voting rights, turnover/revenue) to prevent a high level of horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in this sector?     This question aims to assess the existence of regulatory safeguards (sector-specific) against a high horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in the TELEVISION/RADIO sector.    

     

      X

     

    Is there an administrative authority or judicial body actively monitoring compliance with the thresholds in the print sector and/or hearing complaints? (e.g. media and/or competition authority)?     This variable aims to assess if the law/regulation provides a due monitoring and sanctioning system for the regulation on audiovisual media concentration.    

     

      X
    Does the law grant this body sanctioning/enforcement powers in order to impose proportionate remedies (behavioural and/or structural) in case of non-respect of the thresholds?    

    The variable aims at assessing if the law is providing a due system of sanctions to sector-specific regulation, such as:

    - Refusal of additional licences;

    - Blocking of a merger or acquisition;

    - Obligation to allocate windows for third party programming;

    - Obligation to give up licences/activities in other media sectors;

    - divestiture.    

     

      X

      

    Are these sanctioning/enforcement powers effectively used?     This indicator aims to assess the effective implementation of sector-specific remedies against a high horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in the television media.    

    High Risk (0)

    Total 

    0

     

    Media MergersDescriptionYesNoNAMD
    Can a high level of horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in the media sector be prevented via merger control/competition rules that take into account the specificities of the media sector?    

    This question aims to access the existence of regulatory safeguards (sector specific and/or competition law) against a high horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in the media sector through merging operations: 

    - By containing media-specific provision that impose stricter thresholds than in other sectors;

    - The mandatory intervention of a media authority in merger and acquisition cases (for instance, the obligation for the competition authority to ask the advice of the media authority);

    - The possibility to overrule the approval of a concentration by the communication authority for reasons of media pluralism (or public interest in general), that - even tough they do not contain media-specific provisions - do not exclude the media sector from their scope of application. 

      X
    Is there an administrative authority or judicial body actively monitoring compliance with rules on mergers and/or hearing complaints? (e.g. media and/or competition authority)?     This variable aims to assess if the law/regulation provides a due monitoring and sanctioning system.          X
    Does the law grant this body sanctioning/enforcement powers in order to impose proportionate remedies (behavioural and/or structural) in case of non-respect of the thresholds?    

    The variable aims of assessing if the law is providing a due system of sanctions to sector-specific regulation, such as; 

    - Blocking of a merger or acquisition; 

    - obligation to allocate windows for third party programming;

    - Obligation to give up licences/activities in other media sectors;

    - divestiture

          X
    Are these sanctioning/enforcement powers effectively used?     This indicator aims to assess the effective implementation of sector-specific remedies against a high horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in the television media.    High Risk (0)
    Total 0 of 3

Cross-media Ownership Concentration

This indicator aims to assess the concentration of ownership across the different sectors – TV, print, audio, and any other relevant media – of the media industry. Cross-media concentration is measured by adding up the market shares of the Top media companies.

Result:
NO DATA / HIGH RISK

Why?

  • Cross-media concentration is measured based on the market power. Market shares were, however, unavailable – just like financial data in general. Proxies for cross-media ownership tendencies based on audience shares could not be identified either, as data on consumption habits – essential for determining the importance of each print, TV, radio and online sector – was outdated. The last available credible data set dated back to 2014.
  • The lack of data leads to a high risk for the media sector as effective media regulation cannot be drafted and implemented. In the current situation, regulatory authorities could not take fact-based decisions and policy actions.
  • Attempts to introduce cross-media regulation came late. While media stakeholders had put the topic on the agenda early at the beginning of the millennium, the Government hesitated. This allowed cross-media empires to expand – such as IPP Media Ltd., which is today one of the biggest media groups in Eastern Africa, and which operates in print and broadcast, and recently registered as online content provider. Those companies have the potential to push out competitors, which than possibly puts a risk at media pluralism in the country. The actual cross-media concentration could, however, not be quantified.

Score:

LOWMEDIUMHIGH

Percentage: No data available

If within one country the major 8 owners (Top8) have a market share below 50% across the different media sectors.  If within one country the major 8 owners (Top8) have an audience share between 50% and 69% across the different media sectors.  If within one country the major 8 owners (Top8) have a market share above 70% across the different media sectors. 

Regulatory Safeguards: Cross-media Ownership Concentration

This indicator aims to assess the existence and effective implementation of regulatory safeguards (sector-specific and/or competition law) against a high degree of cross-ownership between media types (press, TV, radio, internet).

Result:
HIGH RISK


Why?

  • There is no authority actively monitoring cross-media ownership. There is no political or juridical awareness for that phenomenon of cross-media-concentration, effective merger control in the Tanzanian media market is missing.
  • The Government 2009 proposed some amendments in the Information and Broadcasting Policy with a view of removing deficiencies inherent in the policy, which was adopted in 2003. A number of changes were proposed in the media policy. One of the changes was the issue of ownership of the media. The proposed changed wanted the government to disallow cross-ownership of media outlets by an individual. If the changes had been endorsed, media owners would have been allowed to either operate electronic or print – but not both. For those currently owning both, the draft policy proposed that these should be given five years to opt for one kind of media outlet. The reason advanced by the government to limit media ownership was to check against abuse by media owners to use their outlets in favor of their business and political interests.
    The government’s proposal was however, rejected by media stakeholders saying the idea to limit media ownership contravenes freedom of the press and is not consistent with free market economy. They argued that the issue of media ownership should be left to market forces and not to be regulated by the government-- and this brought to an end the process to amend the policy.
  • Due to that lack of regulation, cross-media-ownership giants like IPP could develop. They also operate some of the biggest brands in the television and online media industry.


Regulatory Safeguard Score:

0 out of 8 - High Risk (Regulation: 0%)

CROSS-MEDIA OWNERSHIPDescriptionYesNoNAMD
Does the media legislation contain specific thresholds, based on objective criteria, such as number of licences, audience share, circulation, distribution of share capital or voting rights, turnover/revenue, to prevent a high degree of cross-ownership between the different media?     This indicator aims to assess the existence of regulatory safeguards (sector-specific and/or competition law) against a high degree of cross-ownership in different media sectors.      X
Is there an administrative authority or judicial body actively monitoring compliance with these thresholds and/or hearing complaints? (e.g. media authority=1, competition authority=0,5))     This variable aims to assess if the law/regulation provides a due monitoring and sanctioning system for the regulation on audiovisual media concentration.      X
Does the law grant body sanctioning/enforcement powers in order to impose proportionate remedies (behavioural and/or structural) in case of non-respect of the thresholds?    

The variable aims at assessing if the law is providing a due system of sanctions to sector-specific regulation, such as:

- Refusal of additional licences;

- Blocking of a merger or acquisition;

- Obligation to allocate windows for third party programming;

- Obligation to give up licences/activities in other media sectors

- divestiture.

  X
Are these sanctioning/enforcement powers effectively used?    

the relevant authority never uses its sanctioning powers

The question aims at assessing the effectiveness of the remedies provided by the regulation.    
  X
Can a high degree of cross-ownership between different media be prevented via merger control/competition rules that take into account the specificities of the media sector?    

For instance, cross-ownership can be prevented by comptetion law:

- by the mandatory intervention of a media authority in M&A cases (for instance, the obligation for the competition authority to ask the advice of the media authority);

- by the possibility to overrule the approval of a concentration by the competition authority for reasons of media pluralism (or Public interest in general);
 Even though the law does not contain media-specific provisions - it does not exclude the media sector from its scope of application
  X
Is there an administrative authority or judicial body actively monitoring compliance with these rules and/or hearing complaints? (e.g. media and/or competition authority)     This variable aims to assess if the law/regulation provides a due monitoring and sanctioning system for the regulation against a high degree of cross-ownership in different media sectors via merger control/competition rules    
Does the law grant body sanctioning/enforcement powers in order to impose proportionate remedies (behavioural and/or structural) in case of non-respect of the thresholds?    

Examples sanctioning/enforcement powers and remedies:

- blocking of a merger or acquisition;

- obligation to allocate windows for third party programming;

- must carryobligation to give up licences/activities in other media sectors;

- divestiture. 

X
Are these sanctioning/enforcement powers effectively used?     The question aims at assessing the effectiveness of the remedies of the regulation.    No
Total     0 of 8

Ownership Transparency

This indicator assesses the transparency of data about the political affiliations of media owners as ownership transparency is a crucial precondition to enforce media pluralism.

Result:
MEDIUM RISK


Why?

  • Companies have to register at the Business Registrations and Licensing Agency (BRELA) where they at least have to list the company form and shareholders. This profile is available for a price of 22.000 TSH / ca. 10 USD. The Tanzanian Communication and Regulation Authority (TCRA) provided some ownership information on Online Content Providers. Concerning the print outlets, ownership information lays theoretically at MAELEZO. The received updated list from MAELEZO did not include shareholders or ownership data.
  • In order to complete missing data which was neither available online nor offline, all media outlets (36) were contacted – at times directly at the media outlet at times through the company - with a questionnaire.
  • No Tanzanian media company was actively transparent. This means no media company published information on their websites or in publicly accessible reports. Only the Nation Media Group, which is based in Kenya and only runs a daughter company in Tanzania, published their management and advisory board members on their website.
  • Passive transparency was also low: only three companies, holding together eight outlets - sent back questionnaires. This included the state-owned companies, Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation and Tanzanian Standard Newspapers, as well as Mwananchi Communication Limited (MCL) (22%).
  • For the majority of media outlets, data was publicly available (64%) at the Registrar General’s Department. However, the quality of the official company profiles was poor and characterized by blanks. Data was often obviously outdated, with changes in ownership not recorded.
  • For 15% of the outlets, data was unavailable at BRELA even though it is obligatory to register there as a company and even though we paid for the company profile.
  • No company actively disguised the ownership structure, e.g. through bogus companies.
LOWMEDIUMHIGH

How would you assess the transparency and accessibility of data about the media ownership?

Data on media owners as well as their political affiliations is publicly available and transparent.

(Active Transparency)

Code if that applies to > 75% of the sample

Data of media owners and their political affiliations are disclosed based on investigations of journalists and media activists or upon request.

(Passive Transparency, Publicly Available)

Code if that applies > 50% of the sample. 

Data on political affiliations of media owners are not easily accessible by the public and investigative journalists of activists are not successful in disclosing these data.

(Data Unavailable, Active Disguise)

Code if data is available for < 50% of the sample 

Regulatory Safeguards: Ownership Transparency

This indicator aims to assess the existence and effective implementation of transparency and disclosure provisions with regard to media ownership and/or control.

Result:
MEDIUM RISK

Why?

  • Even though there are no specific laws on ownership transparency, general transparency regulations also apply for the media sector (TV, radio, print, online). Setting up a company requires the registration at the Business Registrations and Licensing Agency (BRELA), where such information as the shareholders, directors, the legal form, date of incorporation etc. would be listed. This profile has to be updated annually.
  • Additionally, information about print companies can be collected from MAELEZO, which licences newspapers. However, it only lists the license holder which can be a company or an individual. It not necessarily lists shareholders. The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) lists those companies and some shareholders for online content service providers.
  • While it is easier to get the information from MELEZO and TCRA, at BRELA the process to get the information is too long, too slow and prohibitive. For one to get owners’ information one has to apply online and pay the necessary fees (22.000TSH/10USD per company profile). The online application system is only open to those that already have a national ID. The application process took up to date more than 6 weeks. Some company profiles show blank spots, and some files could not be found.
  • Sanctions in case of non-respect of disclosure obligations could be theoretically imposed and brought to court – however, there has notably been no case. Many companies have not filed an update for several consecutive years – which is indicated in their company profile obtained at BRELA.

 

Regulatory Safeguard Score:

14 out of 20 - Medium Risk (70%). Table shows TV, radio, press, online summarized. Max. score: 5 per sector.

Transparency Provisions (summarized for TV, Radio, Press, Online - max. score 5 per sector)DescriptionYesNoNAMD
Does national (media, company, tax...) law contain transparency and disclosure provisions obliging media companies to publish their ownership structures on their website or in records/documents that are accessible to the public?     The aim of the question is to check regulatory safeguard for transparency towards the citizens, the users and the public in general.   X
Does national (media, company, tax...) law contain transparency and disclosure provisions obliging media companies to report (changes in) ownership structures to public authorities (such as the media authority)?     The aim of the question is to check regulatory safeguard for accountability and transparency towards public authorities.      X
Is there an obligation by national law to disclose relevant information after every change in ownership structure?     This question aims at assessing if the law provides rules on the public availability of accurate and up-to-date data on media ownership. This is a condition for an effective transparency.      X
Are there any sanctions in case of non-respect of disclosure obligations?     This question aims at assessing if the law on media ownership transparency can be enforced through the application of sanctions.     X
Do the obligations ensure that the public knows which legal or natural person effectively owns or controls the media company?     This question aim at assessing the effectiveness of the laws that deal with media ownership transparency and if they succeed in disclosing the real owners of the media outlets.    Medium: some owners are still unknown (= 0,5)
Total14 out of 20

 

 

(Political) Control Over Media Outlets and Distribution Networks

This indicator assesses the risk of political affiliations and control over media and distribution networks. It also assesses the level of discrimination by politically affiliated media distribution networks.

Result:
LOW RISK

Why?

  • Out of the monitored media outlets (36), 13 have shareholders with political affiliations or are state-owned. Looking at the media companies, amongst the 21 analyzed companies we identified five companies with politically affiliated owners or state-ownership: Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation, Tanzania Standard Newspaper, Free Media Limited, New Habari (2006), and Uhuru Media Limited.
  • Generally, there is a low risk based on political control through ownership over the monitored media outlets – as the media outlets with political affiliations are less consumed which lowers their influence on public opinion. At the same time, political control over media outlets by other means - such as repressive regulation - is happening on a large scale.
  • While there is a relatively high number of media companies and outlets owned by political stakeholder, their audience reach is limited.

Looking at the print media, the state-owned newspaper together reach around  XX.XXX  of the audience share with in the news market, the CCM-owned Uhuru Publication around  XX.XXX  and Tanzania Daima, associated with CHADEMA Chairman Freeman Mbowe, amounts to  XX.XXX% of the audience share.

Within the news TV market, TBC gets a big share of the audience ( XX.XXX%) as well as the Sahara Media Group ( XX.XXX%).

Within the radio market, especially TBC ( XX.XXX%) and Sahara Media Group Ltd ( XX.XXX%) have a considerable audience share. Uhuru FM is much smaller ( XX.XXX%).

The popular online websites are mostly independent blogs and forums.

Political affiliated media owners:

LOWMEDIUMHIGH
POLITICATION OF MEDIA OUTLETS    
What is the share of TV / radio / online/ print media owned by politically affiliated entities?
The media having <30% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation.     The media having <50% - >30% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation.  The media having >50% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation.    

 

Political control over media distribution networks

The overall level of (political) ) control over media outlets and distribution networks was assessed as a medium risk to media pluralism. A leading distribution network is defined as a network covering more than 15% of the national market.

Result:
LOW RISK

Why?

  • Publishing houses distribute their print publications individually by car, which is uncritical in terms of political control.
  • TV arrived late in Tanzania (first broadcast in 1994), and led to limited terrestrial broadcast coverage (24% of population). The early digital-switch-on (2011) and analogue switch off (2012) coined today’s TV distribution network. The multiplex licences were awarded during 2010 to Star Media Tanzania, Agape Media and Basic Transmissions. The latter two companies are Tanzanian-owned and related to existing TV channels, while Star Media is a joint venture between China's StarTimes (which owns 65%) and TBC. These providers are still in the market. Some viewers lost access to TV after analogue switch off – estimates range from 20% to 50% in Dar es Salaam, and probably smaller proportions in areas where switch-off occurred later. According to the MOM Advisory Group, the viewership came back but never back up to the pre-digital-switch-off level. While the Government Agency TCRA has the oversight to ensure good service quality, it does not take occasional discriminatory actions against certain media outlets. However, the MOM Advisory Group has observed that TV viewership, especially of the local news, has gone down. According to their statements, one can only receive the state-run TBC with certain decoders lately. They could not provide explanations.
  • TCRA also has the oversight over the radio network. According to the Advisory Group, this set up is not critical in terms of political control.
LOWMEDIUMHIGH
How would you assess the conduct of the leading distribution networks for print media? 
Leading distribution networks are not politically affiliated or do not take discriminatory actions.     At least one of the leading distribution networks is politically affiliated or takes occasional discriminatory actions.     All of the leading distribution networks are politically affiliated and has a record of repeated discriminatory actions.    
How would you assess the conduct of the leading radio distribution networks? 
Leading distribution networks are not politically affiliated or do not take discriminatory actions.     At least one of the leading distribution networks is politically affiliated or takes occasional discriminatory actions.     All of the leading distribution networks are politically affiliated and has a record of repeated discriminatory actions.    
How would you assess the conduct of the leading television distribution networks? 
Leading distribution, are not politically affiliated or do not take discriminatory actions. At least one of the leading distribution networks is politically affiliated or takes occasional discriminatory actions.  All of the leading distribution networks are politically affiliated and has a record of repeated discriminatory actions. 
How would you assess the conduct of the leading Internet distribution networks? 
Leading distribution networks are not politically affiliated or do not take discriminatory actions. At least one of the leading distribution networks is politically affiliated or takes occasional discriminatory actions.  All of the leading distribution networks are politically affiliated and has a record of repeated discriminatory actions.  

(Political) Control Over Media Funding

This indicator assesses the influence of the state on the functioning of the media market, focusing particularly on the risk of discrimination in the distribution of state advertisements. The discrimination can be reflected in favoritism towards political parties or affiliates of political parties in the government, or in penalization of media criticizing the government. State advertising should be understood as any advertising paid by governments (national, regional, local) and state-owned institutions and companies.

Result:
MEDIUM/ HIGH RISK

Why?

  • Prior to the Media Service Act, all Government agencies, Ministries and alike took advertising decisions independently. No clear set of rules led their decision on how to distribute their advertisements.
  • Now, according to the Media Service Act 2016, the Director of Information Services Department is responsible for coordinating Government advertisements. This means one single individual, appointed by the President, has decision power over how those advertisements are placed. The law is silent on which criteria or procedure should be guiding his decisions. How the Director of Maelezo actually decides on the placement of Government lacks transparency, which indicates a HIGH RISK.
  • The MOM Advisory group, based on their experience, argued that advertising had been and still is distributed disproportionately (in terms of audience share) to the media. The public/state-run and CCM-owned outlets would get the lion’s share although their audience reach, compared to private outlets, is relatively low.

Regulatory Safeguard Score:

LOWMEDIUMHIGH
Is the state advertising distributed to media proportionately to their audience share? 
State advertising is distributed to the media relatively proportionately to the audience shares of media. State advertising is distributed disproportionately (in terms of audience share) to the media.State advertising is distributed exclusively to few media outlets, which do not cover al major media outlets in the country. 
How would you assess the rules of distribution of state advertising?    
State advertising is distributed to media outlets based on transparent rules.     State advertising is distributed to media outlets based on a set of rules but it is unclear whether they are transparent.     There are no rules regarding distribution of state advertising to media outlets or these.   
IMPORTANCE OF STATE ADVERTISING    

What is the share of state advertising as part of the overall TV / Radio / Print/ online advertising market? 

VALUE: There is no data available on the share of state advertising in the market.

Share of state advertising is <5% of the overall market.    Share of state advertising is 5%-10% of the overall market.     Share of state advertising is > 10% of the overall market.·  

Regulatory Safeguards: Net neutrality

Protecting net neutrality is essential to safeguarding media diversity because it guarantees equal ability to access and disseminate information, opinions, perspectives, etc. online, which is essential to media diversity in general, in our post-Internet society. As the accurate measure of media diversity is based on media consumer behavior (i.e., the total content consumers usually choose, and as more people are getting their news online where most news is now reported, online media is a significant indicator and supplier of media diversity overall. Thus, it is important that this platform not be hindered to more closely reflect traditional media platforms. Hindering the ability of the open Internet to facilitate the supply of media diversity, along with other negative consequences, is precisely what will happen without net neutrality protections.

This indicator aims capture the landscape of legal regulation of net neutrality as well as the specific regulatory mechanisms that address net neutrality.

Result:
HIGH RISK

Why?

  • The concept of net neutrality is not defined in the Tanzanian law, and as such is not addressed at all. There is no policy or bill pending on the issue in order to protect it. The complete lack of regulatory safeguards already leads to a HIGH risk to media pluralism. As in Tanzania, there is no formal law protecting strong net neutrality, then we focus on talking about how net neutrality principles are dealt with.
  • While net neutrality is not protected, even the exact opposite takes place: the online sphere suffers from recently implemented regulations (March 2018). Amongst other new and restrictive regulations, bloggers and other “online content creators” are now required to pay an annual license fee of around $930. That amount is as high as the GDP per capita, which stood at almost the same amount in 2017, according to the World Bank. These regulations contradict the international human rights standards for the protection of the right to freedom of expression online, pointed out by MCT. They overly restrict media freedom and freedom of expression in general through unnecessary censorship, prohibition of anonymity, requirement for registration of bloggers and online forums, wide scope of prohibited content, and the giving of intermediaries power to interfere with citizens freedom of expression. Where such regulation is used with the effect of diluting political or social speech - online forums were shut down - , ignoring NN principles as the means to this end, that impact is of the greatest concern.
  • At the same time, zero rating is a common practice and within the legal framework. Zero-rating means the pricing policy in which Internet service providers (ISPs) supply a range of content to (particularly mobile) Internet consumers without charging for the data used - or counting it against the plan’s cap. This for example is the case in Tanzania, as the big telcos like Tigo or Vodacon offer deals allowing their customers to access Facebook, Instagram, and Google without using up data. Millicom-owned Tigo Tanzania started early and announced free Facebook access for its subscribers already in 2014. Today, all popular mobile telcos offer those kind of deals.
  • Why is zero-rating rating problematic? Free access to your favorite services seems like a dream, especially when data packages are relatively expensive. However, zero rating may provide an unfair advantage as it channels users to the content and services that are zero-rated at the expense of alternatives which are not zero-rated. This distorts competition and complicates business for potential new market entrants. From the perspective of public discourse, zero rating might narrow the experience of the Internet, as there are little incentives for users to venture beyond those services that are provided for free – who might then experience the Internet as a “walled garden”. Lastly, zero-rating helps transform the Internet from a permission-less environment – in which all kind of developers create innovation based on the premise that the Internet treats individual and start-ups just like major companies - into one in which developers effectively need to cooperate with ISPs before deploying their new technologies. ISPs turn into gate-keepers. These are some aspects brought forward by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
  • One variant occurs when a content provider pays the data charge that would otherwise be incurred by the end-user (sponsored data), which is not known to be the case in Tanzania. Also, consumers here don’t voluntarily accept a lower service quality for some content (throttling) in exchange for data not being counted.

Score: 0 out of 11

Net NeutralityDescriptionYesNoNAMD
Does national law address net neutrality directly or indirectly?This question aims to determine whether net neutrality is regulated by domestic law in any way; it also aims to reflect any agreement between countries, as in the EU and countries that are part of the Council of Europe.X
Does national law contain norms that prohibit blocking of websites or content online?This question determines the degree to which a country’s net neutrality norms prevent blocking, one of the key components of a robust net neutrality framework.X
Does national law contain norms that prohibit throttling of services or content provided online?This question determines the degree to which a country’s net neutrality norms prevent throttling, one of the key components of a robust net neutrality framework.X
Does national law contain norms that prohibit zero-rating and/or paid prioritization?This question determines the degree to which a country’s net neutrality norms prevent zero-rating (of which paid prioritization is a common form), one of the key components of a robust net neutrality framework.X
Where net neutrality is protected by law, does the legal framework recognize any exceptions, e.g. for reasonable network management?This question establishes when reasonable limits are placed on net neutrality protections versus other limits that may undermine its effectiveness.X
Norms that prohibit or limit zero-rating are successfully implemented: Paid prioritization does not take place.This question aims to flesh out the extent to which paid prioritization occurs in practice despite its prohibition in law; a number of countries with ostensibly strong zero-rating protections experience this phenomenon. This indicator may shed light on the degree of difference between law and practices on the ground.X
Norms that prohibit or limit zero-rating are successfully implemented: No other forms of zero-rating take place.This question aims to flesh out the extent to which paid prioritization occurs in practice despite its prohibition in law; a number of countries with ostensibly strong zero-rating protections experience this phenomenon. This indicator may shed light on the degree of difference between law and practices on the ground.X
Norms are successfully implemented: Blocking and/or throttling do not take place.This question seeks to determine how the legal framework in place to protect net neutrality operates in practice with respect to blocking and throttling. X
Are there regulatory or other entities charged with monitoring and enforcing net neutrality protections?This question highlights whether there are authorities charged with enforcing net neutrality protections. X
Have sanctions been imposed for violations of net neutrality protections where these exist?This question may illustrate the extent to which violations of net neutrality norms are taken seriously as a matter of rule of law and political will.X
Are the enforcement mechanisms in place to identify and respond to net neutrality violations viewed as effective?This question shows the extent to which net neutrality norms actually achieve their goal. X
Total

 

 

Sources

Media Ownership Monitor Tanzania (2018). Legal Assessment.
The United Republic of Tanzania (2017). Media Service Regulations.
The United Republic of Tanzania (2016). Media Services Act.
The United Republic of Tanzania (1976). Newspaper Act of 1976.
The United Republic of Tanzania (2018). Electronic and Postal Communications Act.
The United Republic of Tanzania (2003). Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority Act.
The United Republic of Tanzania (2017). The 2017 Budget Statement and Economic Policy
Berec (2018). What is zero-rating? Accessed on 14 November 2018.
Tobor (2018). Tigo Tanzania has zero-rated Uber for its subscribers. Accessed on 14 November 2018.
Mc Sherry, Malcolm & Walsh (2016). Zero Rating: What it is and why you should care. Accessed on 14 November 2018.

  • Project by
    Media Council of Tanzania
  •  
    Reporters without borders
  • Funded by
    BMZ