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Media houses not giving up fight on digital migration

27 December 2013, 14:00

Nairobi - The three media groups opposed to the switchover to digital broadcasting said they would continue challenging the migration in the courts.

“We hold the position that broadcasting is a constitutional right intended to be enjoyed by the people of Kenya and by those choosing to invest in broadcasting. It is not a privilege to be granted and withdrawn by the Government at its whims,” the media houses stated following the switchover.

The group consists of the Nation Media, Standard Group and Royal Media Services.

The heightened conflict between government and the three television broadcasting media groups barely comes a night when Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) disabled all analogue signals for the country.

They were switched off at midnight on Thursday midnight, leaving millions of local viewers without access to television services.

CCK is arguing that all the three media groups dwelling in broadcasting should switch to digital broadcasting, a development that requires them to have set top boxes (STBs).

While the government is enforcing the digitalisation deadline, the media houses argue most television stations have been designed to receive analogue signals as opposed to distribute through set top boxes.

The decision by CCK to switch off the three top media groups has meanwhile presented a Chinese company with a glorious business opportunity to takeover transmission of the local television content.

Pan-Africa Network Group (PANG) will administer local television content distribution while on the other hand the state-owned digital arm, Signet, will air the broadcasting services at a fee.

Kenya's switching off from analogue to digital follows its neighbor, Tanzania, which also implemented the changes amid challenges.

– CAJ News


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