NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 14 – Four television stations have been switched off after failing to migrate to digital by last night as directed by state regulator, the Communications Authority of Kenya.
NTV, KTN, Citizen and QTV were forcefully switched off shortly after 1 pm when officials from authority accompanied by police officers visited their transmission sites in Limuru, according to messages broadcast by the stations shortly before they went off.
One of the stations, KTN scrolled a message to its viewers explaining that it will be back on air once they acquire their own set top boxes before it was switched off.
The Communications Authority had on Friday directed all the media houses to migrate to the digital platform after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the authority that the dates it had set for migration from digital to analogue remain the same thereby withdrawing earlier orders allowing three broadcasters to broadcast on the digital platform.
Soon after the switch-off, DSTV put a statement on twitter urging viewers interested in news to watch other channels.
” Dear subscribers, please be advised that Citizen, KTN, NTV and QTV have terminated their channels on all available platforms resulting in the loss of signal. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience. For news and local programming please go to any of the Maisha Magic channels, K24, KBC or Kiss,” the short statement on twitter said.
Reporters from some of the TV stations switched off told Capital FM News that they had been asked to go home until further notice.
“We have been told to go home because there is nothing we are doing in the newsroom,” one TV reporter who had gone to interview Kenyans on Valentines Day said.
The four TV stations complained that the authority had refused to give them time to acquire their own digital boxes.
“Despite the Supreme Court ruling on February 13, 2015 reinstating us the license and frequencies for digital broadcasting the CA has declined to allow us the requisite time to import our own transmitters and set top boxes that will enable our viewers to receive our broadcasts on our own platform as provided by the self-provisioning license granted by the Supreme Court,” they complained in the televised message appearing on KTN shortly before it too went off air.