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Kenya's digital carriers avoid broadcasting brawl

Kenya , 28 Jan 2015

Kenya's digital carriers avoid broadcasting brawl

The Kenyan public has been witness, of late, to a confusing tug-of-war between three local free-to-air broadcasters (Nation Media group, Standard Media Group and Royal Media Services) and digital carriers, Startimes and GOTv.

Under the umbrella African Digital Network, the three media houses ran an advert telling consumers that GOTv and Startimes have been broadcasting their station illegally without consent. As a result the consortium had their digital license suspended by the Communication Authority.

Other digital carriers, such as Zuku, Bamba TV and Azam TV, have managed to avoid the fight over free-to-air channels.

In a statement to ITWeb Africa, Richard Alden, CEO Wananchi Group that owns internet and cable service Zuku, said that the company has secured consent from the local broadcasters to carry their signals.

"Zuku has contracts with all the Free-To-Air channels (FTAs) to carry them on our digital Satellite platform," Alden told ITWeb Africa.

He added that according to the law, "there is a 'must carry principle' by CAK. It mandates to carry at least five Free-To-Air Channels .There, as pay tv provider, we have complied with the 'must carry principle'."

Alden reiterates the company's commitment to bring cutting edge entertainment and service in the region.

"Ours is a business committed to delivering cutting edge entertainment and integrated communication solutions for the fast growing African mass consumer market," Alden said.

The government is currently readying itself for the second wave of digital migration on February 2nd that will affect several towns. This comes after Nairobi was migrated on January 1st this year.

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