Broadcasters want third digital licence issued

Kenyan broadcasters have asked the president to address the issue of the third digital signal licence, saying it is unfair for the country to be left at the mercy of two companies.

According to Media Council chairman Joseph Odindo told the East African Journalist Convention in Nairobi yesterday there is disquiet among media houses about the licence, which they are asking be issued to a private entity. 

Signet and Chinese-owned Pan Africa Network are the two licenced distributors in Kenya./p>

Dr Bitange Ndemo, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Information and Communication took the media owners to task for having failed to create a consortium to take the third license, as proposed by the government.

Ndemo said local broadcasters also had an option of buying shares in Signet, a subsidiary of the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC), but have failed to do so.

“Your Excellency these are the two options that we have put on the table and are currently discussing with media owners,” he said.

The debate over who should be issued with the third licence continues as the government plans to start phase one of the analogue switchoff in September, after an earlier effort to do so was stopped by the Consumers Federation of Kenya (Cofek).

The East African Journalist Convention was part of the World Press Day celebrations, during which Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta assured the media to freedoms entrenched in the constitution would be respected.

Posted in: Broadcasting

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