Kenyan judge delays analogue TV switch-off

Rebecca Hawkes | 12-12-2013

High Court Judge David Majanja has put the switch-off of analogue TV signals in Nairobi, due to take place on Friday 13 December, on hold.

The delay will run to at least 23 December, when Judge Majanja is expected to make a substantive ruling on the deadline for digital terrestrial TV migration, which was set by the Government through the Communications

Commission of Kenya (CCK).
Signet Kenya, Star Times, Pan African Network and GOTV Kenya have joined the Government in support of 13

December analogue switch-off for Nairobi, however three other media houses – Royal Media Services, Nation Media Group and Standard Group – claim there are not enough digital set-top boxes in circulation to ensure universal broadcast coverage.

The latter three media companies had requested the case be heard by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, however their plea was rejected by Majanja, who said the matter does not require a three-judge bench, reports CIO East Africa.

Royal Media Services, Nation Media Group and Standard Group claim they will suffer massive financial loss if the analogue switch-off is not delayed. So far, they say, the Government has distributed only 170,000 set-top boxes, although Kenya has an estimated eight million TV households.

An undisclosed amount of other set-top boxes, distributed by pay-TV players DStv, GOtv and Zuku, are also active in the East African country.

Kenya's analogue signal switch-off was initially set for 31 December 2012, and moved to September 2013. This was then delayed until 13 December for Nairobi and June 2014 for the national migration to digital terrestrial broadcasting.