, NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 19 – GOtv, a pay digital terrestrial TV provider controlled by MultiChoice has threatened to sue the Nation Media Group, Royal Media Services and Standard Media over defamation following a row over content use.
The company states that the three media companies have been running an infomercial on their platforms advising consumers against purchasing GOtv set top boxes for carrying their content without consent.
The three media companies hold that GOtv and StarTimes are infringing on copyright by broadcasting their content.
The advertisement by the three media companies asks viewers to wait for set top boxes (STBs) which will be provided soon by their consortium.
GOtv says that it is operating within the confines of the laws of Kenya according to a ‘must carry’ obligation imposed by Regulation 14 of the Kenya Information and Communications (Broadcasting) Regulations 2009, whose objective is to ensure that the public has access to information.
“The Supreme Court, In Supreme Court of Kenya at Nairobi Petition number 14 of 2014 Communication Authority of Kenya and five others versus Royal Media services limited and five others by judgment delivered on the 29th September 2014, affirmed that the ‘must carry’ rule does not infringe on the broadcasters’ copyright,” read a statement from the company.
The company says the infomercial is not only defamatory of GOtv, misleading to the public but also contemptuous of the court finding.
“GOtv offers 11 local and more than 70 other TV channels including pay TV and Free To Air channels of Digital Video Broadcasting Second Generation Terrestrial (DVB – T2) technology, GOtv is Authorised by the Communication Authority of Kenya(CAK), and was the first provider in Kenya to launch DVB – T2 technology over three years ago, ” the statement read.
Last Month ICT Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said over two million STBs have so far been sold in Nairobi and its environs in readiness for the digital television migration, optimistic that the country will beat the world June digital migration deadline.
He said this did not even include the number of the customers who were already on pay TV services, expressing his optimism of successful transition.