Three media houses (Nation, Standard and Citizen) in Kenya have been running ads on their platforms warning consumers against purchasing set-top boxes from both GOtv and Startimes. The claim is that the two companies have been infringing on the TV stations’ copyright by airing free to air content on their set top boxes.
The three stations did not mice words and asked consumers to avoid purchasing the boxes, and not missing to market their set top box which is quite late to the stage. The fact that the three media houses via their consortium Africa Digital Network have a license to distribute signals and sell their own set-top box, they are now rivals to GOtv and Startimes.
GOtv went to court and acquired temporary injunction that prevents the media houses from continuing with their aggressive ads pending a court decision on 2nd February 2015. See below the statement from GOtv.
The High Court sitting in Nairobi has stopped the airing of advertisements sponsored by NTV, KTN, Citizen TV and QTV asking Kenyans to boycott GOtv’s and wait for their set top boxes.
The High court also asked that three (Royal Media Services Limited, Nation Media Group and Standard Group Limited) be served with the application to appear in court on 2nd February 2015 when the case will be heard.
The court order obtained read in part, “…A temporary injunction has been issued for 14 days restraining the defendants whether by themselves or by their directors, servants, agents, or any persons whatsoever acting under their instructions and directions, from airing or publishing information to the effect that the plaintiff is carrying the defendants’ content without their consent….”
On its part GOtv Kenya Limited assured Kenyans that the company operates within the confines of the laws of Kenya.
The company has been and continues to air the content from NTV, Citizen TV, QTV andKTN, 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.
GOtv offers local and international TV channels including pay TV and Free to Air Channels on Digital Video Broadcasting- Second Generation Terrestrial (DVB-T2) technology. The company is authorized by the communications Authority of Kenya, and was the first provider in Kenya to launch DVB-T2 technology over three years ago.
GOtv Kenya Limited, General Manager, Felix Kyengo, has welcomed the move by the High Court and reiterated that the company’s interest is to safeguard the rights of its customers and seek for justice.
“We thank all our valued subscribers for their continued support and reassure them that the content aired on the GOtv platform is legal and legitimate,” said Kyengo.