The four TV stations KTN, NTV, QTV and Citizen TV are set to resume TV broadcasting today at around 6.50pm.
The four stations have been off air for over two weeks, exactly 19 days today. The switch off happened on 13th February after the Supreme Court passed on the ruling that Digital Migration will continue as scheduled by the regulator Communication Authority of Kenya, (CA) and ordered that the three media houses migrate from the analogue platform as at midnight of that particular day.
Today The Nation Media Group, Standard Group and The Royal Media Services shared a press statement announcing their resumption of television broadcasting. Here is the full statement:
Just over two weeks ago, exactly 19 days today, the Communications Authority ostensibly acting to keep to its unilateral digital migration schedule raided our signal relay stations in Limuru, forcibly switched off transmitters and carted away equipment.
The consequences of the unfortunate Valentine Day events included the disruption of our analogue broadcasts and subsequent withdrawal of regular programming by our stations namely NTV and QTV operated by the Nation Media Group, Standard Group’s KTN and Citizen TV of the Royal Media Services. Together, these stations accounted for more than 80 percent of the country’s television viewership.
For millions of our viewers, the last two weeks have been difficult as have been unprecedented. Never before, since the liberalization of the country’s airwaves have television broadcasts been interrupted or subjected to a crisis of the proportions just witnessed. All this we sadly note, transpired in the name of Digital Migration, a process that we maintain, has grossly been mishandled and continues to be.
Today, we are choosing to disappoint the shadowy forces to whom Digital Migration has been a pretext to either subdue, weaken or altogether eliminate independent, privately-run television stations. To those forces we say, these broadcasters namely Citizen TV, QTV, KTN and NTV are here to stay and shall not cease to exist.
We asked for more time so that we could roll out a countrywide network to distribute our signals, but those pleas have fallen on deaf ear. But we can announce today that through our self-provisioning digital signal carrier consortium the Africa Digital Network Limited ADNL, we have now completed the installation of our digital signal distribution infrastructure around Nairobi, We are pleased to inform our esteemed viewers that tonight, beginning 6.50pm, we are resuming regular programming across the 4 channels.
We would also like to inform our viewers that our channels NTV, KTN CITIZEN and QTV are and must remain Free-To Air (FTA) available to you free of charge and without monthly subscription on all Universal decoders. To this end, we are in the process of importing our own Set Top Boxes (STBs) that would guarantee the right of all viewers to watch our channels free of charge just as they did before.
As we resume our broadcasts, we would like to indicate that many of the concerns we have articulated around the management of the Digital Migration process remain unresolved. The matter of copyrights to our content and a guarantee of non-interference on our channels on Pay TV platforms remain particularly pertinent. We will continue pursuing a resolution to these and other outstanding issues in the best interest of our viewers, our journalism ,our country and our business.
We thank our viewers for the patience they demonstrated throughout the difficult 19 days of darkness and for their continued faith in free and independent television in Kenya.