Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) has acquired Free-to-air broadcasting rights to air various sporting events both locally and internationally that will take place between July 1, 2022 and May 22, 2023.
The sporting events include FIBA Africa World Cup qualifiers in Alexandria, Egypt on July 1 to 3, 2022, World Athletics Championships in Eugene, United States of America on July 15 to, 2022, Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom on July 28 to August 8, 2022, and the World Under 20 Athletics, in Cali, Colombia on August 1to 6, 2022.
Other events are Rugby League 3 Test matches between Kenya Vs South Africa in July to October 2022, World Half Marathon in Yangzhou, China on November 13, 2022, FIFA World Cup in Qatar on November 21 to December 18, 2022 and the DFP Poka in Germany on August 22, 2022 to May 2023.
Unveiling the KBC Sporting events at a Nairobi hotel on Wednesday ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru said the Corporation has made a significant investment to acquire the rights and encouraged the private, public and donor sectors to seize the opportunity to buy advertising space from the broadcasting corporation during the airing of the eight sports events.
He expressed confidence that 100 percent of Kenyans will come together to experience and enjoy the events as they are attracted to football, athletics and rugby.
“Famous sportsmen and women local and internationally will be beamed live across KBC channels into the sitting rooms and other spaces in the country in the next year. It will in no doubt bring us all together,” said Mucheru.
The CS noted sport has the power to change the world, inspire, unite people, speak to the youth in a language they understand, create hope where there is despair and is more powerful than governments in breaking down barriers.
He at the same time called upon KBC to utilise the opportunity to engage the youth who come together to enjoy the sport for good, as well as create hope for the success of the country.
“As I applaud the management and the Board of Directors of KBC for the efforts in ensuring that you acquire these exclusive broadcast rights, let Kenyans know that you have what it takes to provide their content needs,” urged Mucheru.
He said the government has developed transformation strategies to revitalise the operation of KBC and Postal Corporation of Kenya to make them vibrant and viable government institutions and will continue to equip KBC with broadcast equipment, personnel and updated ICT infrastructure.
The CS cited the successful transition from analogue to digital television and radio which led to the increase of 130 television stations up from 13 in 2013, and 204 radio stations up from 130 in 2013, noting that the massive expansion in the digital space has seen hundreds of thousands of Kenyans successfully monetise on various digital avenues.
“Through our expansion of the digital space, the government has enabled small and medium enterprises, regional community and church-based broadcasters throughout the country to create niche routes for direct engagements,” he said.
The dividends of the investments in undersea fiber cable is manifested in the internet penetration rise from 31.4 percent in 2013 to 93.9 percent in 2022, cellular phone penetration increase from 74.9 percent in 2013 to 131 percent and increase of mobile money transfers from Sh1.9 trillion to Sh 6.8 trillion.
On the upcoming general elections, the CS called upon Kenyans to use it to exercise their democratic rights to vote.
“Ask of your leaders what you need from them and ensure that you are informed as you elect your choices in August. Do not allow others to decide for you, take time to understand and make a choice based on your needs,” urged Mucheru.
He challenged KBC to create a programming schedule that enlightens and brings out the best of each person, especially during this electioneering period.
Broadcasting and Telecommunications Principal Secretary Esther Koimett who graced the event commended KBC for rebranding, saying that the programmes aired have attracted many viewers as they are informative, entertaining and full of wisdom.
In his remarks the KBC Board Chairman Eng Benjamin Maingi thanked the government for supporting the corporation and promised that the motivated KBC staff will deliver to Kenyans as they are up to the task.
He urged entrepreneurs to take advantage of the free-to-air sporting event to advertise their goods and services.