Following an advert that has been carried out by four media houses, that is KTN, QTV, NTV and Citizen urging the public against purchasing decoders from the two firms, now Star Times and GoTV Kenya will be moving to court to rebuke the move by the media houses
In the infomercial, the 4 stations further ask viewers to wait for their own decoders set to be available in the market soon. The 4 stations are set to launch over 150,000 decoders under a new consortium called African Digital Network (AND), with Kshs 2,000 being the price of decoder. The decorders are also said to be internet enabled.
In a statement by GOtv and StarTimes state that they “air the content of the above mentioned four stations, 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.”
“The Supreme Court, in Supreme Court of Kenya at Nairobi Petition No.14 of 2014 Communications Commission of Kenya & 5 others v Royal Media Services Limited & 5 others by judgment delivered on 29th September 2014, affirmed that the ‘must carry’ rule does not infringe on the broadcasters’ copyright,” notes Felix Kyengo, GM, GOtv Kenya.
The statement adds that GOtv offers 11 local and more than 70 other TV channels including pay TV and Free-to-Air (FTA) channels.
In their statements, the two firms state that the infomercial is defamatory to their brands and meant to mislead the public, with StarTimes adding that the ‘must-carry’ rule is not ‘rebroadcasting’ and ‘therefore does not infringe on the intellectual property rights of the local broadcasters.’
“Our set top boxes are tailored to give Kenyans a choice as to opt for either the Pay TV or the Free To Air option based on their personal preference. Caution by the said media houses is meant to mislead and defame the brand that is StarTimes,” states StarTimes.
Both GOtv and StarTimes have said they will be heading to the courts for legal redress against the action by the 4 stations which they claim is meant to malign their companies and brands.
Meanwhile, Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has backed the move by the GoTV and StarTimes terming the ad by three TV stations as “misinformation”.
According to Nairobi Tech, CA Corporate Affairs Director Mutua Muthusi said GOtv have a right to seek court intervention. “That is actionable in court,” Muthusi said. He said CAK had warned players over misinformation and said media houses should advertise their boxes without misleading Kenyans over rival products. “I think even under advertising rules it is not allowed,” he added.
GOtv and Startimes have been in the market for a while and have sold thousands of boxes to the extent that they are among the top Lipa na MPESA transactions movers according to Safaricom.
The advert has also spurred conversations on twitter, where #KOT have reacted negatively stating that they would go ahead and buy the two pay-TV set top boxes.
The official GOtv twitter handle also read, “Dear Gogetter be advised that content airred of GOtv platform is legal and legitimate. – .