TV stations likely to reapply for licences, says Wangusi

February 17, 2015 9:27 am
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CA Director General Francis Wangusi says the board will meet on Tuesday to decide what action to take/FILE
CA Director General Francis Wangusi says the board will meet on Tuesday to decide what action to take/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 17 – The Communications Authority Kenya (CA) now says it may be forced to ask NTV, QTV, Citizen and KTN to reapply for their licences if they fail to go back to the TV digital platform.

Speaking to Capital FM News, CA Director General Francis Wangusi says the board will meet on Tuesday to decide what action to take.

“We are also giving the media houses time so Kenyans can that really the intention of government is not to emasculate the three media houses… So as when we move in to permanently shut them out then the country will know that we were not doing it in bad faith,” he said.

He said the media houses’ ploy to gain support from the public has failed and that they have no option but to go back the digital platforms.

“When their intentions didn’t give them the first spark that they expected when they go off; to see people rioting, complaining… forcing the government to take a decision that they would have loved to go their way.”

READ: Kenya TV stations to face penalties for turning off digital signal

“Now they are inconsequential because Kenyans are continuing to watch TV, Kenyans are buying Set Top Boxes and therefore they have only one option, to come back to the digital platform,” Wangusi added.

Citizen, NTV and KTN remain off air, four days after their analogue transmitters were switched off.

Owners of the three stations under the African Digital Network umbrella were scheduled to hold a press conference Tuesday morning but “cancelled it until further notice.”

Meanwhile, the Consumers Federation of Kenya (COFEK) has called on NTV, KTN and Citizen TV to resume digital broadcasts.

COFEK Secretary General Stephen Mutoro has accused the television stations of acting petulantly by ceasing their digital broadcasts in response to the Communications Authority of Kenya switch-off of their analogue transmissions in and around Nairobi.

READ: Eat humble pie, COFEK tells media in digital row

The responsible thing to do, Mutoro opined, would have been to allow other digital platforms to carry their content as they import their own equipment.

“It’s akin to refusing a lift from your neighbour because you’re on your way to buy a limousine. It makes absolutely no sense. Let them eat humble pie and if they find it absolutely unpalatable to work with PANG and SIGNET, let those on DStv at least be able to watch them,” he argued.

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