StarTimes denies infringing on broadcasters’ copyright calls for freedom to choose


STARTIMES 2Pay TV services provider StarTimes has come out denying allegations of airing free to air broadcasters (NTV, Citizen, KTN and QTV) content without the latter’s consent arguing that StarTimes makes local channels available in compliance with a “must-carry” rule as provided for by the industry regulator, Communicatiosn Authority of Kenya.

“Our attention is drawn by the recent caution alerts by sections of local broadcast stations where the said media houses are advising their viewers against acquiring StarTimes set top boxes to continue accessing local content in digital quality as reality on analogue switch off continues to manifest in Nairobi and its environs,” said Alex Mwaura Public Relations Manager , StarTimes Media.

“According to the Court of Appeal ruling delivered on 29th September 2014, “must-carry” rule is not “rebroadcasting” and therefore does not infringe on the intellectual property rights of the local broadcasters,” he added.

Mwaura sort to clarify that they continue to operate UNINTERUPTED and both the Pay Television and the Free To Air set top boxes are available across the country to enable Kenyans transition from analogue to digital broadcasting through affordable and type approved devices.

“Our set top boxes are tailored to give Kenyans a choice as to opt for either the Pay TV or the Free To Air option based on their personal preference. Kenyans should be allowed the freedom to choose as opposed to imposing untested devices for such a significant transition that is digital migration,” said Mwaura.

The bandying of information from the two pairs of broadcasters continues to confuse viewers many of whom have taken to social media demanding to know what is happening and if they will be required to have two set top boxes in their houses.