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FIFA spat sounds Kenya alarm

South Africa’s pay-TV giant Multichoice/DStv holds the World Cup TV rights, and in Kenya shares the rights with the country’s public broadcaster KBC. The problem is that two of Multichoice’s local rivals, Wananchi Group’s Zuku and StarTimes Group, both – normally – carry KBC’s channels as part of their own digital bouquets.

Kenya’s Communications Authority (CAK) has now received a formal petition from Wananchi arguing that KBC’s switching off its satellite feeds when World Cup games are being played the public broadcaster is denying hundreds of thousands of Kenyans the right to view the games being transmitted by them.

Wananchi further argues that Multichoice’s DStv pay-service in Kenya is deliberately “manipulating” KBC.  KBC, for example, did not inform Zuku (or StarTimes) that their transmissions would be suspended for the soccer games.

The moves have prompted the regulator to draft new rules which will compel Multichoice to share the rights to such content in the future. But not for this year’s World Cup.

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