Instances When Citizen TV, NTV & KTN Were Switched Off

  • A File Image of Citizen TV Studios
    A File Image of Citizen TV Studios
    Citizen Digital
  • Kenyans have been treated to a series of media blackouts forcing them to find alternative ways of consuming news.

    In those circumstances, mainstream TV stations were switched off with television then being the main news source, especially in urban areas.

    The decision to switch off Citizen TV, NTV and KTN simultaneously was due to wrangles by different administrations.

    An image of KTN News studios along Mombasa road.
    An image of KTN News studios along Mombasa road.

    Digital Transmission Protests

    In March 2015, Kenyans in most parts of the country were treated to a total media blackout after mainstream TV stations, KTN, Citizen TV and NTV, including its subsidiary, QTV, went off air over digital migration row.

    The television stations switched off their signals in protest of in a row over the move from analogue to digital transmission.

    Only the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) and K24 TV remained on air. 

    NTV, KTN and NTV had requested a three months delay to import their own set-top boxes that would carry their content. 

    However, the Supreme Court turned down their request after the Communication Authority indicated that over 60 per cent of Kenyans had purchased a set-top box to receive a digital signal.

    The three TV stations were later compelled to oblige with the new government directive.

    After 2017 Elections

    In 2018, the government switched off KTN, NTV, Citizen TV, and Inooro TV days after General Election.

    The stations were switched off over their plan to broadcast the mock swearing-in of the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga at Uhuru Park on January 30.

    The Communications Authority of Kenya switched off all the stations. Defending the decision, the then information Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru argued that it was a matter of national security.

    Kenyan journalists denounced the move as outrageous and, in a statement, called for respect of the constitution and an end to the unprecedented media clampdown.

    Some journalists were also apprehended during the ordeal.

    "We were informed by very reliable sources that policemen were downstairs and what they wanted to do was to arrest us when we leave the building, so we have since that time not left the building," Citizen TV's Linus Kaikai stated.

    An image of empty NTV studios taken in October 2017
    NTV studios at Twin Towers along Kimathi Street in a photo dated October 2017.