CEO Weekends: StarTimes Hacks KBC to Show World Cup Matches

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StarTimes, owned by Chinese Broadcast Signal Distributor PANG, might be sued for allegedly infringement of FIFA rules and the Kenyan copyright law after it was nabbed hacking into the KBC signal, pirating it without consent in a bid to air the World Cup matches, observes COFEK.

StarTimes have been reported to have hatched a plan of picking the analogue signal and passing it off as if it was a digital signal, even after KBC had already blocked them on the DDT platform, stopping StarTimes from broadcasting the well sought after World Cup live matches.

Until recently, the StarTimes were openly informing to the public that they will air live world cup matches from today until the end of the tournament. But the recent Supreme Court ruling required consent from respective media houses for broadcast signal distributors before airing free to air channels, leaving the StarTimes at risk of facing charges from the law of Kenya.

The Broadcast Signal Distributor had posted a full page colour advertisement in sections of the print media that read “Score with the best deal in town watch live football in crystal clear digital quality on StarTimes.”

StarTimes is rumoured to be hoping to illegally cash on its’ Signet KBC1 channel to relay the World Cup to it Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda viewers digitally and through YouTube. However, Uganda has no FIFA rights to relay the same. Sources informed Cofek that against “pressure from above” KBC has threatened to disconnect its’ KBC channel 1 from their Signet bouquet if they defy the rule. Former KBC MD, Mr David Waweru was later to lose his job as a result of illegal transfer of World Cup broadcasting rights to other local stations.

Moreover, it is alleged that StarTimes have cashed on this deceptive deal by reducing the cost of their set top boxes to Sh1,999.

Yet, the rights for Kenya are limited to the national broadcaster Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) and the South-African run DSTV.

In all, the standoff could hurt the China-Kenya diplomatic relations after the Chinese premier visited Kenya between May 9 to 11, 2014.

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