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3 TV stations remain analogue as Supreme Court mulls case

28 January 2015, 15:22 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - 3 major TV stations in the country will retain their analogue signals until the Supreme Court decides on a suit between the stations and the Communications Authority CA.

The 3 stations, NTV of the Nation Media Group, Citizen TV of the Royal Media Services and KTN of the Standard Group, where back in court Wednesday to protest recent actions of the CA, in denying them digital broadcasts licences.

They also wanted the Supreme Court to grant them till 30 May 2014 to be ready for the digital switch.

The worldwide digital switch is set fir June 17, 2015.

The two parties have been at loggerheads over the past one year, with the CA initially not keen to hand them licences to distribute digital frequencies, as was the case with Chinese firm Star Times and South Africa's GOtv.

The Supreme Court late last year, asked the two parties to dialogue and look for a way forward as regards the migration and report back within 90 days.

But with the two parties arguing over more or less everything, they were back in court Wednesday.

" We cannot plan for the migration effectively if we do not have digital licences, Paul Muite," representing the three media houses said.

" There is need for us to have the licenses, the specifications so that we can apply and then import the set top boxes," he added.

Muite argued that his clients had no time to prepare for migration, as compared to the 3 years the other firms had been granted.

" The others had been given 3 years while we have only had just over a month," he complained.

The CA has revoked the licenses of the 3 media houses for what it terms as unfair competition from them after they displayed disparaging messages about their competitors.

The Supreme Court will give direction on the case in due course.

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