Kenyan Media Firms Want The Digital Migration Date Postponed

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Three leading media houses in Kenya, Royal Media Services (RMS), The Standard Group and Nation Media Group (NMG), want to be given at least four months to put in place the necessary infrastructure for digital migration.

In a meeting with the Communications Authority Of Kenya (CAK), the three media houses said that the December 30 deadline set by the Cabinet last week was untenable and asked for more time to migrate to a digital platform.

Linus Kaikai, the acting Managing Director in charge of television at NMG said: “We have a problem with what the Cabinet did. We hope it is not an imposition coming from another office. We need to be directed from the office of the Director- General, not from a Cabinet meeting. We are willing and are determined to distribute our own signal for reasons that we may not want to talk about at this forum.”

The MD suggested that the three media houses be given up to April to migrate to the digital platform as he said that by then the three media houses would have had ample time to put their infrastructure.

Concurring with the Kaikai, was RMS Chief Operating Officer Farida Karoney, who said it was impossible for the three media houses to put in place the necessary infrastructure for digital migration within 30 days.

“We want to carry our content through our own set-top boxes. They have to be manufactured, airlifted to Kenya and distributed. We also need to invest in transmitters. Unless we perform a miracle, this is not possible within 30 days,” she said.

The Standard Group CEO Sam Shollei supported calls for the deadline to be pushed to April 30 to enable the three media houses to roll out the necessary infrastructure.