The three mainstream media houses in Kenya; Nation Media Group, Royal media services and the standard media group are set to start airing their content today at 6:50PM through their consortium Africa Digital Networks(ADN).
The deadlock between the government and these media houses finally seems to have stopped after a three week switch off. These giant media houses had their stations forcefully switched off from analogue transmission systems in February this year.
The media houses had filed complaints against the communication Authority of Kenya (CA) claiming that they were not given enough time to import their own digital set-boxes. The Supreme Court of Kenya ruled in favor of continuity of digital migration and declined to extend the deadline for analogue TV broadcasting.
According to the service regulator, the media houses had earlier this year run a biased and confusing advertisement on pay TV
service providers for airing their content without authorization.
Following an announcement of digital migration process by the CA In 2014, Nairobi was to be switched off by the end of the year followed by major cities like; Kisumu, Mombasa and Eldoret in February this year and the rest of the country following suit by June this year (2015).
The global switch off deadline for analogue television broadcasting was set as 17th of June 2015 during the regional radio conference in Geneva in 2006. On many occasions, Kenya has postponed the migration in regards to a legal suit by these houses. However, the Kenyan government maintained its ground in considering analogue television broadcasting because it’s just about three months to the global deadline.
According to the director general of CA Mr. Francis Wangusi, he maintained that these media houses would not be back on air until they met certain conditions that would be set by the regulator. Mr Wangusi said these three media houses also risked penalties such as withdrawal of operating licenses for the violations they committed when they ‘switched themselves off’.
Universal set top boxes which receive free to air signals will be required for viewers to access content by the three key media houses.
Only viewers within Nairobi will be able to receive the signals as the rest of the country waits for a solution