More than half of Nairobi tv viewers will stare at blank screens if they will not have acquired digital set top boxes by today evening.
The government will at midnight switch off analogue tv signals, commencing phase one of the digital migration process that was mooted in 2007, but faced a lot of challenges before the transition was finally approved in November.
Latest statistics indicate the country’s capital alone has 1.5 million tv viewers with 660,000 already migrated to the digital platform across the country-meaning close to 900,000 residents are yet to purchase the crucial gadget.
ICT ministry and the Communication Authority (CA) of Kenya last week indicated there are enough digital equipment in the country to facilitate phase one of the switch off- covering 1.26 million tv viewers in Nairobi.
Yesterday, local media houses reported Supreme Court had issued temporary orders to stop the digital migration switch off that was to happen today midnight.
Deputy Chief Justice, Kalpana Rawal yesterday issued the temporary injunction after lawyer Paul Muite representing Royal Media Services, Nation Media Group and Standard Group moved to court to halt tomorrow’s switch off.
Muite argued that the deadline set by the communications authority of Kenya is against the three-month negotiation window period ordered by the Supreme Court.
Justice Rawal has now ordered parties in the case to appear in court on Monday before a two judge bench for more directions on the case.
However, ICT Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matiang’i today told a press briefing it is not the digital migration that was suspended but cancellation of broadcasting licenses for ‘the 3 broadcasters.’