Kenyan Supreme Court bans pay-TV broadcast of free-to-air content

Kenya’s Supreme Court has ruled to block pay-TV providers in the country from broadcasting free-to-air content from Royal Media Services, Nation Media Group and the Standard Group without their consent until an appeal is heard over the controversial digital migration process.

HumanIPO reported last month the Court of Appeal had ruled in favour of the media houses, awarding them digital licences and setting September 30 as the new deadline for digital migration, which has been on hold since December, but the Kenyan government has since gone to the Supreme Court in an attempt to have the verdict overturned.

Justice Smokin Wanjala and Jacton Ojwang Friday stopped Signet, StarTimes, Pan Africa Network Group (PANG) and MultiChoice’s GOtv from airing free-to-air channels owned by the media houses without their permission until the appeal is heard on May 27, while also upholding the order for the three media houses to be given digital broadcasting licences.

“I certified the matter urgent,” Judge Wanjala said. “And the counsel for CCK [Communications Commission of Kenya] was to undertake to advise the affected parties to cease broadcasting the said matter till case is determined.”

HumanIPO reported yesterday popular Kenyan television stations Citizen TV and KTN cannot currently be accessed on pay-TV services StarTimes and GOtv.

“We have noted the urgency of the matter and public importance in entertaining the substantive appeal,” Justice Wanjala said.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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