13th August, 2015 marked the historic event of license issuance to broadcasters. The event held at Communication authority of Kenya’s head quarters was a turn of events for many who expected the license issuance to involve mainstream media houses.
The brief event spearheaded by CA director General Mr. Francis Wangusi saw 7 broadcasters receive licenses. The new licensees will be in a position to provide clear, un encrypted digital TV signals, enabling any person with the appropriate equipment to receive the signal. The consumer on the other hand is able to access the content without paying a subscription fee hence the only cost being the initial one-off fee to obtain the receiving equipment, which may be a digital television or analogue TV connected to a set top box.
The broadcasters who received the licenses are namely;
1. Zanira Company Limited
2.Seventh Day Adventist-East Kenya Union Conference
3. Akili Networks Limited
4.The Entertainment Channel Limited
5.The Word Music Limited
6.North Eastern Media & Telecommunications Limited
7. Namba One TV Ltd
8.Cosmopolitan Media Limited
In a list where mainstream media houses miss, The big question would be how critical broadcasting licenses are after a successful digital migration process. Mr. Wangusi emphasized on the need of media houses to cooperate on license acquisition or face closure. He also highlighted on dominance saying all broadcasters will be treated equally under the registration with no special treatments for big players whatsoever.
The statement comes at a time media houses still await to get self-provisioning licenses to air their content under the Africa Digital Network umbrella.
The Authority received and is currently processing 72 commercial Free-To-Air TV licenses applications. Other broadcast related license applications being processed include, two for IPTV, three for PayTV, four for Subscription Management Service, two for Landing Rights, one for Community TV and two self-provisioning Broadcast Signal Distributor license.