In Summary
  • Lawyer Ken Ogeto told the court that KBC’s sole rights to air the tournament had been violated by Wananchi Group and Startimes Media through their television outlets Zuku and Startimes.
  • The Nation Media Group, the Standard Group and Royal Media have been engrossed in a similar dispute with GoTv and Startimes, which they accused of infringing on their copyrights.

Three pay television channels have been stopped from airing the World Cup.

Pan African Network Group, Star Times Media and Wananchi Group (Zuku) were ordered by a court to stop airing or promoting the tournament in any manner that infringes on the broadcast rights of the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation.

Mr Justice Eric Ogolla yesterday said: “Pending the hearing and determination of this suit, an injunction is issued restraining the respondents from infringing by way of advertising, broadcasting or promoting the tournament.”

The public broadcaster had gone to court protesting the “hacking” of its “distinctive signal rights” to air the World Cup as awarded to it by Fifa.

Lawyer Ken Ogeto told the court that KBC’s sole rights to air the tournament had been violated by Wananchi Group and Startimes Media through their television outlets Zuku and Startimes.

He said KBC had signed a license agreement jointly with Fifa and Africa Union of Broadcasting that granted it media rights for the World Cup, which kicked off on Thursday in Brazil.

He argued that the pay television channels defiantly broadcast the opening match through KBC’s television signal hence were receiving advertisements based on the popularity of the tournament.

The Nation Media Group, the Standard Group and Royal Media have been engrossed in a similar dispute with GoTv and Startimes, which they accused of infringing on their copyrights.

Lawyers representing the three media houses accused the government of going against its own policy and recommendations on digital migration and violating media freedom and rights by granting digital content broadcast licences to the pay TV channels.