Director general Francis Wangusi said providers must provide a minimum number of free-to-air channels and would not be able to deny access to them even if subscribers failed to pay subscription fees for paid services, according to Business Daily.
“The commission has put a mandate on the minimum number of free-to-air channels that the pay television must carry,” he said. “The free-to-air channels providers are supposed to offer their content for free to pay-TV stations since they are not allowed to resell the content to pay-TV providers.”
Pay-TV service providers usually switch off viewers who are yet to pay for programmes, which includes blocking them from public broadcasts.
A CCK report revealed pay-TV providers Zuku, StarTimes and Gotv own 220,000 of the set top boxes bought for digital migration. The three providers do not however guarantee access to channels such as NTV, Citizen, KTN, K24, NTV and Kiss TV.
HumanIPO reported last week the CCK had called upon television stations to avail their free-to-air channels signals to pay-TV providers.
“We want to spell this out very clearly, as long as you are free-to-air and we know where your competition is, those channels must be seen by Kenyans as free-to-air,” said Wangusi.
Kenya has digital signals that cover major towns like Nairobi, Kisumu, Eldoret, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, Nyeri, Webuye and Meru.