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Court grants GoTV relief in content row

A pay TV firm has obtained orders stopping the three leading media houses from carrying an advertisement in which they accuse it of transmitting their contents illegally.

Nation Media Group (NMG), Standard Group (SG) and Royal Media Services (RMS) have been carrying an advert on their channels NTV, KTN, Citizen and QTV, informing viewers that Star Times Media Ltd and GoTV Kenya Ltd are carrying their content without their consent.

The two companies are also selling set top boxes that enable viewers to receive the digital signal.

In an application through lawyer Evans Monari, the High Court granted GoTV Kenya Ltd a two-week injunction stopping the media houses from carrying the advertisement.

“A temporary injunction is hereby issued for 14 days restraining NMG, SG and RMS, from airing or publishing information to the effect that GOTV Kenya Ltd is carrying NMG, SG and RMS’ content without consent and thereby infringing on the media houses copyright, thus cautioning the public from buying GOTV set top boxes,” Mr Justice Alfred Mabeya said on Tuesday.

CONTENT MANIPULATED

The media houses have been running the campaigns since January 16. This was after the two firms went ahead to air their contents despite being advised not to do so.

Earlier, Royal Media Services chairman SK Macharia said the media houses fear that contents may be manipulated.

“We are very uncomfortable that our signals are being carried by others. Given that they are also in business, we risk having our signals manipulated,” said Mr Macharia.

Mr Monari said GOTV has been carrying the contents pursuant to the must-carry rule by the Kenya Information and Communication (Broadcasting) Regulations, 2009.