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KBC launches youth and county TV stations

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Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) has launched a new television station for young people and is in the process of launching a series of county TVs.

Y254 is targeting the growing youthful audience in the country, who are under-served by mainstream televisions. The station, which went on air on Monday, is a fully-owned subsidiary of KBC. It will be airing entertainment such as music, movies, soap operas as well as other programmes with youthful content.

Today, Y254 started airing morning live talk shows. The show was hosted by actress-cum-DJ Pierra Makena, and featured topics on fitness and money. Details about the station are sketchy, but it is understood that President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to launch it.

This will be the second attempt by KBC to launch a niche commercial TV station after Metro TV, an entertainment channel, was closed when it failed to attract viewers and advertising. The business model of the station is not yet out, but it appears KBC is expanding its reach through smaller but niche stations.

See also >> Nation Media sets up TV studio in Eldoret

Meanwhile, the first county TV owned by KBC is expected to start airing anytime. The plan is to launch a number of regional TVs to serve various counties with information and educational content. This comes after the government, through the Communication Authority, denied governors radio and TV frequencies, arguing that the channels would be abused for political interests.

In September last year, the telecoms sector regulator rejected 20 county government applications seeking FM radio broadcast bands, arguing that broadcasting is not a devolved function. “The authority has not issued any county government with broadcast frequencies for either FM or TV broadcasting.

The Constitution envisaged that the provision of public broadcasting services is the role of national government since this function is not devolved,” said CA director-general Francis Wangusi said then.

Mr Wangusi directed county governments to use the State-controlled Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC), for their communication needs. KBC is the media house currently charged with the responsibility of providing public broadcasting services in Kenya.

County TVs will be a major coup against national television stations such as NTV, Citizen and KTN, as it’s likely to split national TV audiences the way vernacular and regional radio stations have done to radio broadcasting. The Nation Media Group last year launched television in Eldoret to expand its regional coverage to tap opportunities offered by devolution ahead of elections.

While KBC will be providing public broadcast services, it will have to compete for audience with regional TVs already operating in virtually every region.


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BT Reporter
BT Reporterhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke
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