Kenya issues first Commercial FTA TV licences

Thursday, August 13th, 2015
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CA issues first Commercial FTA TV licenses

NAIROBI — In a historic event, the Communications Authority issued the first Commercial Free-to-Air TV licenses in the aftermath of digital migration. The CA DG, Mr. Francis Wangusi, presented the first 8 broadcasters with the coveted licenses at a Press Conference held at the CA Centre thus setting in motion the long-awaited process of bringing players in the broadcasting market under CA’s regulatory regime as anticipated under the ICT sector law.

The eight are, Zanira Company Limited, Seventh Day Adventist East Kenya Union Conference, Akili Networks Limited, Entertainment Channel Limited, Word Music Limited, North Eastern Media & Telecommunications Limited , Namba One TV Ltd. and Cosmopolitan Media Limited.

The DG said the licences contain clear provisions on programming content standards. Going by the feedback received by CA from consumers, he said, Kenyans desire clean content that is appropriate for family viewing especially during the watershed period which runs from 5.00a.m to 10.00p.m. They also desire rich local content that reflects themes that are distinctly Kenyan. “The Authority consequently requires all the Commercial FTA TV licensees to uphold the local content quotas now standing at 40% for the fiscal year 2015/2016,” he said.

He reminded consumers of their right to receive appropriate content during the watershed period, adding that in the event broadcasters violate this right, they should first lodge a complaint with the offending broadcaster, and if their complaints are not resolved to their satisfaction, escalate the matter to the Authority, then the Communications and Multimedia Appeals Tribunal or the High Court. Saying that digital migration has opened up a world of opportunities for the country the DG announced that the Authority has received and is currently processing a total of 72 commercial FTA TV applications.

Other broadcast related license applications being processed include four for Cable TV, two for IPTV, three for Pay-tv, four for Subscription Management Service, two for Landing Rights, one for Community TV and two for Self-provisioning Broadcast Signal Distributor license. “I wish to remind all TV broadcasters that have not applied for licences to do so urgently to avoid running afoul with the law in light of the foregoing expiry of the permit regime in June 2015,” said Mr. Wangusi.