The Communication Authority of Kenya has issued six companies with commercial free-to-air licences. The six were among 8 companies awarded licenses pursuant to the provisions of the Kenya Information and Communications Act, according to a Kenya Gazette Notice dated June 19th. The other two companies were awarded a Cable subscription broadcasting service and a network facilities provider tier 3 respectively.
Last week, on June 17th, marked the global deadline for digital migration in which all analogue signals were expected to be switched off worldwide at 2359 hrs. The deadline was set by ITU member states in 2006 with Kenya commencing the initial steps of migration in 2009. Kenya was able to beat the deadline having migrated in March.
The companies awarded the FTA licences include Smart Media Colleges Ltd, The Standard Group Limited, BClimax Africa Ltd, Equatorial Multimedia Group Ltd, Mwanyagetinge Television and Neno Evangelism Center. Of interest among the companies awarded the FTA licences is The Standard Group Limited, which is part of the Africa Digital Network corsotium (ADN) that comprises of National Media Group and Royal Media Services. The ADN consortium was greatly opposed to digital migration with the three media houses opting to switch off their stations for two weeks.
According to the Business Daily, the Communication Authority has been keen to implement new regulations that will see more local content on out television sets. The new regulations also stipulate that the media houses present their content to the authority before airing it every week. They also impose stiff penalties for parties who fail to abide by these regulations upto 0.5% of their annual revenues. The companies awarded the new licenses are mostly focused on the airing of the local content, which is a stride towards the implementation of these regulations.