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Kenya’s pay-TV broadcasters are in dispute with the country’s Communications Commission (CCK) because they are showing the FIFA World Cup games whose rights are formally held by Kenyan Broadcasting Corp (KBC), the nation’s FTA public broadcaster.
Star Times and the Pan-African Network Group, as well as the Wananichi Group which owns the Zuku pay-TV system, are both involved in a court case brought by CCK.
The argument for carrying the football games, as stated by Star Group, revolves around a CCK requirement to carry FTA channels including those from KBC in order to ensure that Kenyans can access the channels without having to buy new set-top boxes.
William Lan, MD at Star Times, said that CCK had written to the broadcaster explaining the policy behind open access to the digital platform for all free-to-air content, arguing that access to the platform does not constitute an infringement of their intellectual property rights.
The end result is an emergency court hearing, scheduled for Thursday in Nairobi.