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All four leading TV stations back on air

Four television stations commanding millions of viewers on Thursday ignored fresh threats from the Communications Authority of Kenya and resumed broadcasting after 19 days off air.

NTV, QTV, KTN and Citizen TV resumed normal broadcasts at 6.50pm Thursday evening on their digital signal carrier Africa Digital Network (ADN) Ltd.

Viewers can watch the stations using universal set-top boxes around Nairobi, free of charge.

The Nation Media Group, the Standard Group and Royal Media Services said even though they had requested for time until the end of May to put in place signal distribution around the country in futility, they had completed the task around Nairobi and switched on their TV stations.

“We can announce today that through our self-provisioning digital signal carrier consortium ADN, 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 four channels,” they said.

The statement was signed by chief executives Linus Gitahi (Nation Media Group), Sam Shollei (Standard Group) and Wachira Waruru (Royal Media Service).

FLOUTING REGULATIONS

But Communications Authority’s Francis Wangusi accused the three media houses of flouting regulations by using universal set-top boxes and warned of unspecified penalty.

He argued that neither ADN nor the media houses had presented the set-top boxes for approval.

“The law requires that all communications equipment shall…be submitted for type approval,” he said.

“Should you (media houses) proceed against the advice, serious regulatory action shall be taken against you,” he warned

On February 14, the authority raided the transmitters of the four media houses in Limuru, switched them off and carted them away to coerce them to hand over their content to government-owned Signet and Chinese owned Pan African Networks Group.

“Our channels are and must remain Free-To Air, available to you without monthly subscription on all universal decoders,” said the four.