natinVia Nation

NTV, KTN and Citizen TV have stopped broadcasting their content in protest of a Supreme Court ruling that gave the greenlight for the digital migration, and the subsequent confiscation of their analogue broadcasting equipment by the Communication Authority.

Throughout the weekend, they have replaced their content with their usual whining message.

They once again abuse their wide reach to mislead Kenyans that they were ‘forcefully shutdown’ and hence cannot broadcast.

What they don’t tell us is that the message is itself a broadcast, and only their analogue broadcast was terminated. Continuing with their analogue broadcast meant they were contravening the Supreme Court ruling.

For many months, the three media houses have tried to twist the Digital Migration narrative in their favour, but Kenyans know better. They have claimed the government favoured the Chinese in awarding the digital broadcast licence, but refuse to tell you that they didn’t initially meet the conditions laid out, and were only awarded a licence later as a goodwill gesture.

The transition to digital should have happened months ago, but they have used the courts to drag and stall it.

They tell us that GOtv and Startimes are charging you for free to air channels, but refuse to point out that you can pay a one off fee on both platforms and never pay for TV again.

The logic is simple, when GOtv sells you a decoder at 1800, inclusive of 2 months premium content, they are giving you the box at below the market price. In real sense, they are making a loss on the decoder, hoping to recoup their money from your monthly subscription. If they offer the channels for free, most Kenyans may never subscribe to their premium content and thus Multichoice will be counting their losses.

When you pay the extra one off fee of Sh2600, you’ll have ended up with a free to air decoder, bought at the market rate.

Another issue the three media houses are talking about is the awarding of licenses to ‘foreigners’. What they don’t want you to know is the fact that GOtv is partly owned by KBC through Multichoice Kenya and Communication Authority made it mandatory for Startimes to have a part Kenyan owner.

NTV on the other hand is majority owned by the Aga Khan.

All in all, the odds are not in their favour. They do not have the law to back them, and most importantly public sympathy. Their strategy is to stall the process until their ‘1 million’ decoders arrive for them to control both the content and distribution.

At the end of the day, they are a bunch of greedy businessmen who are making losses everyday they do not broadcast. They will have to compensate their advertisers for the lost days, plus pay staff for work not done, plus many other expenses. Their combined daily losses are in excess of Sh20 million a day and I can bet it won’t be long before they realize they are the ones hurting and return their content back on air.

So, how long do you think they’ll let K24 and KBC rule the airwaves?

Please take a vote.