Kenya's broadcasters can use analogue ... for now


The Supreme Court constituting of a two bench judge has extended analogue broadcasting to three local media stations, giving the court time to constitute a seven judge bench to extensively hear their grievances.

This means that Royal Media Services, Nation Media Group and Standard Group can legally broadcast on analogue frequencies, despite the digital migration date that was set on December 31st 2014.

Supreme Court Judge Mohamed Ibrahim and Chief Justice Willy Mutunga extended the analogue broadcast as the Communication Authority sought to block the determination of the case yesterday and applied that the matter should be heard by the full bench of the Supreme Court.

"In the right circumstances the right bench to hear this application would be the full bench of seven judges who heard the case in the first place," the court ruled.

In September 2014, the Supreme Court had a full hearing and ordered the Communication Authority to issue a digital broadcasting license to the three local media houses.

"It is our view that the Court as constituted by the 2-Judges herein must protect the integrity of the decision of the 7-Judge Bench delivered on 29th September, 2014. Our interpretation of our decision of 29th September, 2014 when we gave the parties 90 days subsequent mention on priority basis before a full Bench implied that there was to be subsequent finality to the compliance of all consequential Orders," the ruling said.

However, the media houses had an issue with the distribution of frequencies and the date set for digital migration, saying they did not have adequate time to put up their systems. This brought on the current court battles that have seen total digital migration hampered.

The date for the full hearing will be announced later.