Pay TV provider GOtv is expected to sue three key Kenyan broadcasters for airing a potentially defamatory commercial that admonishes their viewers to boycott GOtv and StarTimes set-top-boxes claiming the two are airing their content with the TV stations’ consent.
|Papa Shirandula dances during a COFEK digital migration road show|
However, in a quick rejoinder, GOtv rebutted the allegations saying it is compelled by the law to air all available FTA content. GOtv Kenya Limited would like to assure Kenyans that the company operates within the confines of the laws of Kenya,” said Felix Kyengo, the GOtv General Manager.
He added that “GOtv Kenya has been and continues to air the content of the above mentioned four stations, amongst others, pursuant to a ‘must carry’ obligation imposed by Regulation 14 (2) (b) of the Kenya Information and Communications (Broadcasting) Regulations 2009, whose objective is to ensure that the public has access to information.”
There has been a last minute surge in the take up of set top boxes as the digital migration deadline looms large. The analogue signal switch-off has stirred a series of awareness activations such as the COFEK road show which snaked from Upper Hill, through the Central Business District to various estates in Eastlands.
Competition for Kenyan’s eyeballs has been cut-throat especially at the pricing front before the three media houses besmirched the arena with the negative infomercial.
MultiChoice Kenya had recently announced a 50% price reduction in the cost of its GOtv decoders to help speed up Kenya’s Analogue Switch Off before further slashing the price of a GOtv decoder to only KSh99.
“The latest infomercial is not only defamatory of GOtv, misleading to the public but also contemptuous of the court finding stated above. GOtv shall move to court for appropriate redress,” he added.
Kyengo added that the Supreme Court, of Kenya at Nairobi in Petition No.14 of 2014 Communications Commission of Kenya & 5 others v Royal Media Services Limited & 5 others by judgment delivered on 29th September 2014, affirmed that the ‘must carry’ rule does not infringe on the broadcasters’ copyright.
GOtv offers 11 local and more than 70 other TV channels including pay TV and Free to Air Channels on Digital Video Broadcasting- Second Generation Terrestrial (DVB-T2) technology. GOtv is authorized by the Communications Authority of Kenya, and was the first provider in Kenya to launch DVB-T2 technology over three years ago.
Both MultiChoice Kenya’s content delivery platforms, Satellite Direct-to-Home (DStv) and Digital Terrestrial Transmission (GOtv), are already digital therefore current subscribers will not be affected by the analogue switch off.