GOtv, StarTimes could face more Kenyan court action
Rebecca Hawkes | 24-04-2014
MultiChoice-owned GoTV and China's StarTimes have been warned they have seven days to resume the broadcast of free-to-air channels and compensate consumers before facing legal action from the Consumers Federation of Kenya (COFEK).
The dispute stems from a recent order by the Supreme Court forbidding TV distribution platforms StarTimes, GOtv, Pan African Network and Signet from rebroadcasting channels from broadcasters Standard Group, Nation Media Group and Royal Media Services without their consent.
The Consumer Federation of Kenya (COFEK) is unhappy with this situation after receiving customer complaints over the three broadcasters' missing free-to-air (FTA) TV channels, NTV, KTN and Citizen TV on GOtv and StarTimes.
"The disruption in the continued reception of these key channels occasions heavy inconvenience to consumers who are not party to the dispute between the two broadcast signal retailers GOtv and StarTimes on one hand and the three media houses on the other," the federation said in a statement.
"An apology silent on resumption date by the broadcast retailers is certainly not enough. Consumers prepay for the services under the oral and/or written contract of prerequisite FTA channels being part and parcel of all their offerings."
COFEK says it will initiate proceedings under Section 4 of the Consumer Protection Act 2012 against GoTV and StarTimes, as well as the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) for failing to protect consumers' interests, should the matter not be resolved before the end of April.