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Deloitte suggests Premier League content sharing to boost Kenyan pay-TV

The Communications Commission of Kenya, the country’s media regulator, should consider forcing pay-television broadcaster DStv to sell on some of its English Premier League content to rival companies in a bid to boost competition in the local pay-television market, according to a study by financial services group Deloitte.

The study recommended that the commission monitor the development of the pay-television industry in the country for two years before taking any such action, the AllAfrica website reported. The study said that DStv’s competitors would have to present “robust consumer evidence that a substantial number of households choose [their] pay-television provider based on availability of the Premier League.”

The Business Daily website said the Kenyan regulator commissioned the study to establish the level of competition in the country’s free -to-air and pay-television and radio markets. Among the study’s findings were that pay-television subscription fees in Kenya were high compared to other developing nations.

DStv’s dominance in the Kenyan pay-television market has been attributed to its exclusive hold on Premier League rights. DStv is owned by sub-Saharan Africa pay-television operator Multichoice, which also owns the pan-regional Supersport channels, which has the pan-regional rights for the Premier League in a three-year deal from 2010-11 to 2012-13. DStv exclusively carries Supersport on its platform in Kenya.

Richard Bell, chief executive of pay-television operator Wananchi Group, said last year: “The regulator must move to protect new investors in this field and allow for more competition in the sector. The current monopolistic tendencies are killing the pay-TV sector in this country.”