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Here’s How Top Ugandan Media Houses Make Their Money – Besides the Now Contentious Museveni Government Advertising Revenue

Maurice Mugisha

On NAB Boycott Over New Government Advertising Policy | Maurice Mugisha

It’s unfortunate that NAB has chosen to boycott government activities over the new directive on government advertising with UBC and New Vision exclusively.

I would like to share some data which highlights broadcasting AD spend by Government Vs Private.

Broadcasting only attracts less than 10% of the overall advertising spend in Uganda from Government.

90% of AD spend is from the private sector;

Telecom – 15%

Corporate – 15%

Banking – 10%

Beverages – 18%

Others (private sector) – 20%+

SOURCE (Ipsos) NAM @2023

A source at one of the top 2 TV stations says only 2% of the AD revenue is from government advertising. 98% from the private sector, NGOs and Dev. Partners.

One of the top 3 radio stations in Kampala, only generates 10% of their UGX 300m (monthly) from government advertising.

Both TV and Radio command 94% of all advertising spend overall. Therefore of Government is spending under 10% across both platforms, why the boycott?

Unless some media houses have ‘unique’ frameworks with Gov’t agencies that benefit them at the cost of others in the market.

Due to cuts in public expenditure across all sectors/programmes, Gov’t had a zero budget for advertising in the last 2 quarters of FY 22/23. There were some exceptions, for example Ministry of Health was supported (100%) by development partners on their TB/Malaria campaigns.

One of the top private TV stations is contracted at UGX 80 million (monthly) by a Telecom and the same Telecom is paying UBC – UGX 15 million (monthly) for the same TV AD time.

I understand the % TV viewership vs % AD revenue dynamics that inform private sector spend however the private sector is already taking the lion’s share of the AD spend, I think it’s fair that gov’t supports its own, we can debate the % government should ring-fence for the private sector but that’s above my pay grade!

Maurice Mugisha is the Deputy Managing Director of UBC.

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