No third Broadcast signal Distribution yet for broadcasters-CA


Francis WangusiThe African Digital Network consortium is not going to get a Broadcast Signal Distribution which will would have been the third in the country as the Communications Authority had only planned to issue two licenses, a move that is in line with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) policy agreement.

Capital FM reports that CA chairman Ngene Gituku said that the agency had planned for only two licenses that have since been awarded to Signet which is a state-owned entity and Chinese firm Pan African Network Group (PANG).

“The issue of BSD was an international tender and where the ITU had said that we must not have more than two BSD because of the shortage of spectrum,” Gituku said during a forum on digital migration in Nairobi Thursday.

“There were opportunities for the three media houses to get together but they never agreed, I think in terms of shareholding, and in the process, the specifications were best for PANG and the Chinese ended up taking it,” Gituku noted.

The alliance only holds the Self Provisioning Licence which allows the three media houses to operate on the digital platform but it was recently revoked after four media houses allied to the alliance aired infomercials cautioning consumers against buying Set top boxes from GOTV and StarTimes alleging that the pay tv Providers were infringing on their intellectual rights.

“Broadcast BSD is actually a distributor, where you are distributing signals to other people. But the Self provisioning allows you to migrate on your own without interfering with the other broadcasters; this is your own. It is like a short cut of helping you to migrate,” Gituku explained.

Now the media houses have to wait until 15 June 2015 for their requests to be considered when digital migration will be done and there will be extra spectrum.