CA DG Francis Wangusi (second right) addressing the media on the misleading adverts by Nation Media Group and Royal Media Services .With him are, from left, Mr. Alfred Ambani, Asistant Director, Multimedia Services, Joel Imitira, Assistant Director/Market Analysis and Tariffs and Rachel Alwala, Assistant Director/Communications and External Affairs.

The Communications Authority of Kenya has today withdrawn the temporary authorization granted to Nation Media Group, the Standard Group and Royal Media Services (under the consortium identified as Africa Digital Network).  The authorization was to facilitate the roll out their digital signal distribution platform (self-provisioning signal distribution infrastructure).

The withdrawal comes as one of the measures taken by CA against the three media houses following the misleading advertisement which implies that the transmission of their content by StarTimes and Gotv was illegal. The Authority shall also repossess the frequency spectrum resources allocated for the said digital platform with immediate effect.

In his address to the Press today, CA Director General Francis Wangusi said, ‘‘The advertisement by the three media houses is misleading to the public; it is offensive to the market.  It is equally in gross violation of the legal and regulatory framework governing the sector. The tone of the advertisement, its content and timing is intended to cause confusion and disrupt the digital migration programme,’’ said Mr. Wangusi.

Mr. Wangusi added that CA will not continue with the process of issuance of a Network Facilities Provider Tier 2 License for self-provisioning to the three media houses, until the Competition Authority of Kenya and the CA Board make a ruling on the matter after assessing it against healthy market competition principles. The Authority has called upon the Competition Authority of Kenya to investigate the cartel-like anti-competitive conduct of the three media houses and take appropriate regulatory remedies.

The Authority is working in collaboration with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and Kenya Bureau of Standards (KeBS) to bar the importation of set top boxes that are not type-approved by the Authority.

The Director General however assured consumers of the continued availability of Free-to-Air (FTA) channels on any type of set top boxes whether FTA or Pay TV under the “Must Carry Principle”.  He affirmed that there were more than 65 type-approved models of set top boxes available in the market. He also confirmed that GOTV and StarTimes set top boxes were duly type-approved by the Authority and encouraged consumers to acquire set top boxes to enjoy content on channels available on the digital platform. 

Read the full press statement here