GTV plans a comeback in Kenya

Ten years after exiting the market, GTV expresses its wish for a comeback on Kenyan television. According to the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA), GTV has applied for a licence to broadcast free transmission.
“Notice is given that the following applicant has made an application to the Communications Authority of Kenya for the grant of a licence (commercial free to air TV broadcasting),” acting CA Director General Timothy Kemei said in a Gazette notice last week.

GTV let down subscribers when it ceased its operations without notice at the beginning of 2009. They only received a short message telling them the channel had gone off the air. “Increased instability in global markets has interrupted our ability to secure funding on an acceptable time scale and has left us no choice but to cease operations,” the statement read.

At the time of exit, the pay TV network did not refund subscribers, who were left holding obsolete decoders. The firm claimed it closed shop after failing to secure adequate funding for its operations. Swedish firm, Investment AB Kinnevik, with a major stake in the venture, and which had committed its funds to the longer term, suddenly offloaded its stake, worth $23.6 million to Vodacom of South Africa GTV’s swift collapse left about 11,000 employees, spread across 22 African countries jobless. Three years later, another pay-TV provider, Smart TV, closed shop after failing to secure adequate funding for its operations after the exit of Swedish investors.

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