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THE MEDIA AFRICA ANNUAL_digital

24 EAST Africa Licences were awarded to Signet, owned by the Kenyan Broadcasting Corporation and a Chinese company, the Pan African Network Group (PANG) connected with the pay TV service, StarTimes. The three largest Kenyan media groups - Royal Media Services, Nation Media Group and The Standard Group - suspiciously rejected the concept of broadcasting on another company’s infrastructure. Lengthy and acrimonious bouts of litigation ensued, delaying the switchover date. Eventually the Supreme Court refused to allow an extension of the deadline beyond June 2015. When Nation, KTN and Citizen failed to turn off their analogue signals, the Communications Authority did so for them. These stations, in turn, withdrew their content from subscription television broadcasters. The stalemate lasted three weeks and had a significant impact on the protesting broadcasters’ revenues e.g. The Standard Group reported an 80% broadcast revenue drop in the last quarter. The standoff has been resolved and Kenya currently has 62 TV stations. By 31 December 2015, 60% of the population had access to digital television. Of the total 3 094 893 set top boxes on the digital terrestrial platform, the bulk (2 677 909) were pay TV boxes rather than free to air. “The Impact of Digital Technologies and Internet on Media and Journalism in Kenya” highlighted the trend of coopetition, where competitors work together to mutual advantage. The Standard Group was cited for its deal with Radio Africa for a 50% stake in Lancia Digital Broadcasting, the owners of Bamba TV, a free to view multiple channel service. In the competitive DTT world, this move spurred StarTimes to announce a significant reduction in subscription fees to its premier pay bouquets. MultiChoice increased DStv costs, but offered a more budget friendly offering in GoTV. Zuku, another pay TV operator, could benefit from the entrance of Netflix into the market, as it bundles affordable internet with its service. Kantar-GeoPoll Media Measurement uses a mobile methodology to collect daily data on TV in Kenya. During the first quarter of 2016, Citizen TV remained the lead broadcaster, followed by KTN, NTV, K24 and QTV. Barack Obama described Kenya as a “country on the move”, and it has certainly moved swiftly to become one of Africa’s tech leaders. THEMEDIA AFRICA ANNUAL 2016


THE MEDIA AFRICA ANNUAL_digital
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