Media houses fault courts on digital migration
11 February 2014, 10:32
Nairobi - The three media houses seeking to be considered in the allocation of digital signal transmission have told the Court of Appeal that the High Court was wrong in dismissing their petition.
Lawyer Issa Mansur, representing the media houses, told the bench that the High Court Judge, David Majanja, erred by ruling that they were not entitled to digital licenses and frequencies, even after a government task-force recommended that existing media houses be considered in the issuance of the permits.
“Justice Majanja went against constitutional provisions that guarantee media freedom,” said Mansur.
He added that the judge misinterpreted the law on media freedom by dismissing the petition challenging the switch from analogue to digital broadcasting.
The three media houses which include Royal Media services, Nation Media Group and Standard Group, want the court to compel the government to issue them with independent content distribution license a move which the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology has declined.
The Court of Appeal has continued to hold digital migration until the case is determined.
The media houses’ lawyers had on Friday argued that their clients were not opposed to the digital migration but were opposed to their content being distributed by a third party.
Communications Commission of Kenya has maintained that the signal service provisioning market is a regulated subsector of broadcasting where the government controls the number of players who could participate in it.
The government commenced by licensing signet and later introduced Pan Africa Network Group Co. Ltd to compete with SIGNET since the market was rife for competition.
The hearing into the case which is expected to have an impact on digital migration in the country, continues on Tuesday.
– CAJ News
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