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'Majority of Kenyans ill-prepared for digital migration'

Kenya , 12 Mar 2014

'Majority of Kenyans ill-prepared for digital migration'

High prices of set-top boxes are holding back most Kenyan television owners from being ready for the country’s impending digital migration process, says a research by Ipsos Synovate.

According to the Ipsos Synovate research, 99% of residents in Nairobi know that the country’s digital switchover is inevitable but only 32% in the city have purchased a set-top box or have digital television services.

Countrywide, 71% of Kenyans say they do not own a set-top box, although 79% are aware of the impending switch.

Costly set-top boxes are cited as a key reason for the low adoption rates, as court cases by broadcasters have stalled Kenya’s digital migration process.

The Ipsos Synovate research was conducted face-to-face with 517 people in Nairobi and 2031 in Kenya as a whole. The Nairobi research was conducted 4-5 March while the survey was done nationwide 8-15 February this year.

“The importance of TV as a key channel for reaching consumers cannot be over emphasised,” says Ipsos Synovate.

“According to the 2009 census, there are 2.4 million households with TV sets nationally with 610,709 in Nairobi,” adds the research firm.

Despite set-top box adoption in the country being low, there are Kenyans who have access to digital television services.

The survey says that pay-TV provider DStv’s digital terrestrial television (DTT) service GOtv has the largest digital TV subscriber base in the country at 36% followed by China’s StarTimes at 28%.

Meanwhile, Zuku TV has 19% of Kenya’s digital television market space while DStv is at 17%.

According to the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), the country is planned to undergo an overhaul of analogue broadcasting by June this year.

The international Telecommunication Union (ITU) global deadline for digital migration is June 2015.

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