CAK to give its verdict on football rights to MultiChoice by August

MultiChoice Kenya, owner of DSTv, should know at the end of July whether it will be forced to re-sell exclusive English Premier League (EPL) rights to rivals. The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) said its investigations into the local pay-TV market had found that MultiChoice has an unfair monopoly of football content, skewing competition in its favour and forcing some players to exit Kenya. 

The preliminary findings of CAK were made known to the company and they were told that the final ruling will fall at the end of July. Wang’ombe Kariuki, general Director of CAK, said there has been a lot of back-and-forth on the issue and it has told MultiChoice of its proposed ruling. 

The investigation which lasted over two years found that MultiChoice’s holding of exclusive EPL and Kenya Premier League rights and the content airing on SuperSport Channels have were detrimental to firms like Wananchi Group, owner of Zuku. SuperSports hence had terminated its contract with KPL.

Late in 2016, MultiChoice contested CAK’s preliminary findings that would have forced it to re-sell the rights to rivals at a commercially viable rate. DStv opted to go to full hearing. Multichoice owner Naspers has rebuffed claims of wrongdoing, saying exclusivity is at the core of its business and that anybody can buy the rights if they want to from the UK’s Premier League.