A crackdown by the Communications Authority in December 2021 that saw the revocation of frequencies for several radio and TV stations and cancellation of broadcast license offers has so far raised Ksh100 million and opened up space for new media owners.
This was confirmed by Director-General Ezra Chiloba who noted that a full report would be published in March. He highlighted that the crackdown was successful as the notice led to broadcasters scrambling to become compliant leading to the authority making Ksh100 million in a month.
He further stated that 23 licences were to be revoked for those who failed to comply even after the crackdown as he reiterated the need to allocate idle frequencies to ‘serious’ investors.
The crackdown notice stated that the affected stations had failed to comply with licensing conditions. CA cited regulatory provisions contained in the Kenya Information and Communications Act, noting that failure by the listed media firms to comply with the provisions within 30 days would result in shutting down of the associated broadcasting services.
“So we took that action and I am happy to report that there has been a lot of progress. Those who had not applied have now applied and those who have not paid have now paid and we made about Sh100 million within one month.”
“We are still carrying out an audit and we will issue another report at the end of this quarter on the status. Some never appealed or do anything and we are going to revoke those,” Chiloba told Business Daily.
Among stations which were deemed non-compliant were popular urban stations Capital FM and NRG. Broadcasters ran by universities, churches and other institutions also featured heavily on the list of non-compliant broadcasters.
Others put on notice for contravening different regulatory rules included Koch FM, Qwetu radio, Kalya FM, Mbaitu FM and Kong’asis.
Campus radio stations such as MU FM (Moi University), MMU FM (Multimedia University of Kenya), Equator FM (Maseno University) and MMUST FM (Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology) were also hit with the frequency revocation notice.
Catholic Dioceses with radio stations in Kitale, Embu, Mombasa, Ngong’, Homa Bay, Malindi, Meru, Nakuru, Nyeru, Maralal, Marsabit, Lodwar, Isiolo and Eldoret also had their assigned frequencies revoked for failure to comply with conditions including clearing regulatory fees.
CA also cancelled licence offers for 19 applicants who had applied for Commercial Free-to-Air (FTA) television licenses but failed to comply with the provisions within the offer timeline.