How the big 3 TV stations can frustrate Digital Migration

Last evening, I was watching news and was amazed at the kind of investment the three giants have put into broadcasting. Mr. Kiboro pointed out that the current equipment is worth Shs40B, and several more billions are needed to move to digital. Kenya has approx. 2 million TV sets.

My mathematical mind sets to work. Suppose the media giants sell their equipment, and instead of moving to digital broadcasting, they switch to Internet TV. Most of these stations are already available on the internet. To ensure that they convince Kenyans to watch internet TV, they sell the equipment for 40B, go to china and have someone create some 2 million routers/decoders specifically for Internet TV which they would distribute to the TV owners free of charge. Knowing china, they would go for around 3K, which would cost the media companies 6B for 2 million decoders. With the remaining 34B, they set up an ISP specifically for internet TV (no other traffic) and roll their network throughout the country. They then move to more media-friendly jurisdictions and broadcast from there. For us here, our motivation will be the ability to “migrate” free of charge, plus we can also watch other internet TV stations from all over the world.


i like the idea but wanjiku will still be locked out, ni bundles atanunua za kuangalia tv au ni unga

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Hawatatumia safaricon to access the net, hizo routers zitakua connected to the media’ s ISP. Kama Ile ya access Kenya wireless.

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I’m no expert but those figures sound exaggerated


  1. Na hiyo license ya kuwa ISP watapewa na nani?
  2. Nani atakuwa that stupid to buy 40B worth of equipment that’s going to be useless anyway.
  3. Is the investment worth 40B really?
  1. Licence watapewa just like any other ISP. In the worst case, they buy an existing ISP.
  2. According to Kiboro, the equipment is still usable. He actually mentioned the value while complaining how it could have been damaged during the raid, yet it’s what they intend to use to roll out ADN.
  3. He said that’s the value. Why do you doubt?

When they say the investment is worth 40 billion, that includes their viewers as well.They have invested to make you their viewer and that is why they are not happy to give you away for free.


But what gives them the right to think that they own me as a viewer?
Nimeshaanza kusahau majina zao. Zilikuwa NoTV, DIZIZEN and KaTiNa…? ama nimekosea?


Trouth be told wakeny wanajidanganya… The big 3 were in a class of their own… Just try watching kbc on dstv. Utadhani unawatch a low res .3gp file on a 4K monitor. Clarity iko poor hadi “mchele” iko. As for k24 their graphics team got lots of work to do


It is stratospherically expensive to provide free internet for all viewers. Secondly, it is not affordable for most if not all of free to air viewers to afford such an internet connection. Again the analogue equipment might not be bought by anybody; its old and outdated. lastly, you would have very few viewers(the all important player) before you completed rolling out such an infrastructure. That plan is for nuts. They got to move on somehow.

Alafu that investment wanclaim ni 40 billion ni uongo. None of them has a market value(which is usually many times the real value) of 50billion, let alone equipment.

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hahaha…You killed me

Ni ukweli. I wonder why K24 and KBC wanashindangwa na simple good graphics encoding, kuweka appealing theme design, background etc. Alafu both KBC and K24 zinaongeanga kama ni siri wanasema. The engineers there are mechanika ama?


habari yenu nyinyi…actually internet should be very affordable,but cartels makes it so expensive…streaming TV means a stable internet of atleast 2 mb/s which is still expensive at prese and, Zuku is tryin to pump some sence in the industry while bringing meaningful compe which means very soon the cost of internet will be fair.i remember an year ago Access Kenya was selling their 1 mb/s unlimited at 27,000 per month…now Zuku are selling 50 mb/s unlimited @ 10,000 per month while 10 mb/s is going for 4,000 per month…the kind of compe we need.If these media houses are to go the internet TV way it would be great and it also means they be given more spectrum/frequencies for high speed internet by the government

We acccept that internet is expensive here, but internet TV matching the digital free to air infrastructure is unfeasible. Even in the US most of the cheap internet connections will go for at least Ksh 2000 per month and most likely more. Kenya kuna watu wanashindwa na rent ya ksh. 1000 na bado wanataka kuona Tv. Internet infrastructure to support innternet TV in all of kenya could have a budget of hundreds of billions if not trillions. Nobody has done that anywhere on such a large scale. Ata safaricom with their billions wanafika a few places hii kenya(3g ni urban places only) compared to where digital tv infrastructure can.

Anyway, the three media houses do not have the capability to install a cable internet connection for all nairobi residents let alone kenya.
Internet TV unless kama wanataka kuwa na a maximum of 1000 viewers kenya mzima.

How does Zuku carry out its internet service, by satellite or cable?


Airtel kenya has way cheaper data bundles than USA carriers

Zuku do both. Only that cable is recent.

vipi buda…Zuku inatumia cable(fibre and copper in gated communities where it was not allowed to dig like where i stay).They have what they call Triple play,ambapo unapewa internet via rooter,tv via their box na simu…the cheapest is 3k(1 mb/s internet, tv with over 70 channels and simu)…Safaricom wako na their own cable tv/internet tv which they started back in 2011 in selected estates but still is and was damn expensive…if zuku has been able to penetrate mitaa considered za masufferer na kuweka infrastructure yao na kulipisha as low as 3k/month then it means it can be more affordable, ni cartels wa internet akina safcon wanataka tu kula excess.By the way, zuku wakona internet ya 1mb/month via cable costing only 1k and you share na haianguki hanguki(you can stream k24 ya net bila stress)
Bottom line internet tv can work,actually zuku are planning kuweka iyo kitu nairobi mzima then waanze kwenda mashinani which is a good thing.Kama sio akina zuku access kenya wangukua bado wanatunyambia.