Kenya fines digital TV players

Kenya’s Communications Authority (CA) has lifted its ban on the trio of Kenyan digital broadcasters (Nation Media Group, Royal Media Services and The Standard Media Group) which together broadcast as Africa Digital Network.  However, there are fines to be paid. The three were alleged to have broadcast commercials criticising other players, and of unauthorised transmissions of Kenya’s public broadcasts.

The regulator has also decided to separate the provision of programmes from the digital terrestrial transmission of signals. That task will now be put out to international tender.

Instead, CA has levied a set of fines and penalties on each of the three broadcasters with a KS 500,000 fine (about $5500), as well as demanding that each of them “pledge” not to run misleading advertising, nor engage in uncompetitive behaviour. Moreover the three must not distribute set-top boxes to consumers without formal type-approval.

CA DG Francis Wangusi clarified that the self-provisioning licence which is being given to ADN will be for providing pay-television services and not distributing signals. He reiterated that the broadcasting signal distribution (BSD) licence will not be issued at the moment but if announced, there will be an international tender.

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