Due to failure to deliver content from three local free-to air channels, Digital TV signal distributors GOtv and StarTimes will have to face court after The Kenya Consumer Protection Advisory Committee (Kecopac) said it would sue them on behalf of consumers if access to KTN, NTV and Citizen is not restored within seven days.
The consumer watchdog said the Consumer Federation of Kenya (CofeK) has received numerous complaints over the consumers’ inability to access the channels despite the promise that the two digital distributors made while selling the decoders.
The disruption channels came after the court of appeal passed a decision that barred GOtv and StarTimes from broadcasting content from the three media houses without their consent and the continuation of the same would amount to infringement of intellectual property rights of the three TV stations.
“Under the circumstances, and invoking provisions of Section 4 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2012 we will commence class action proceedings against GOtv, StarTimes and the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) failing resumption of the transmissions within seven days.”
Under the law, directors of firms that fail to make full disclosure on their goods and services are liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to a fine not exceeding sh 10 million for their companies or both.
The penalties also prohibit use of misleading information to sell goods and services. Consumers are entitled to warranties for damaged or injurious goods under the law, which all requires products to match marketing hype.
Both pay TV stations are currently running an apology message promising resumption of services upon signing new contracts with the TV stations.