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Tuesday, February 17, 2015


There are more than enough Free to Air channels in the country, the Communications Authority has said.

The authority responding to a group of three FTA stations that has withdrawn their signals from the available digital platforms said the three were not the only source of local news.

"The Authority has licensed more than 40 Free-to-Air channels on the digital platforms, with over 30 on SIGNET and 8 on PANG Platform," Director General Francis Wangusi said.

"Free-to-Air channels currently providing news include KBC, K24, Kass TV, GBS, EBRU TV, 3 Stone TV and Njata TV, KTS, Pwani TV and Lolwe TV. News is provided in English, Swahili and vernacular languages."

There has been talk that some of the other FTA channels will put together their own news teams poached from the three media houses that are operating under the consortium of Africa Digital Network.

In a full page ad the CAK went further to dispute that 90 per cent of Kenyans were locked out of TV screens pointing out that the three media houses had only 11 analogue sites and the coverage afforded by the digital platforms now dwarfs the coverage they had.

"The three media houses have the avenue to air their broadcasts through the digital networks currently available," the CAK said in a paid advert in The Star.

"They voluntarily withdrew their content from the available digital platforms SIGNET, PANG and DSTV, yet these have even a wider reach than the analogue transmissions the media had before. KTN, NTV, QTV and Citizen TV only had 11 analogue transmission stations collectively, which was a very small proportion of what the digital network coverage currently offers."

The authority said accusations of favouring the Pan-African Group with frequencies were untrue pointing out that in fact, the analogue frequencies the ADN trio was using for transmission are the ones it needs in order to issue out for digital transmission.

Media Houses are said to be  losing over Sh60 million daily from advertising revenue.

A picture by NTV's Trend Anchor Larry Madowo depicted an empty newsroom.

The Kenyan impasse is beginning to generate international headlines and is seen as a case study for many countries yet to migrate,

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