GeoPoll, a mobile surveying platform has released a report showing the impact of the shutdown of four television stations last month. NTV, KTN News, Citizen TV and Inooro TV were taken off air after failing to observe a government order that directed the media not to air the ‚Äėswearing-in ceremony‚Äô of Raila Odinga.
‚ÄúGeoPoll measured the effects of the shutdown on media consumption in Kenya by examining our daily media measurement data and conducting an ad-hoc, nationally representative survey to gain further insights into media habits during the shutdown. Our findings show that the shutdown had a major impact on media and news consumption, with many Kenyans seeking alternative news sources, including switching their viewership to other TV stations and using online services to follow the news,‚ÄĚ the company‚Äôs blog states.
Citizen TV, NTV, and KTN are the top TV channels in Kenya, with Citizen TV attracting 27 percent viewers of the total share in the fourth quarter of 2017. As a result, the shutdown had a significant impact on TV viewership in Kenya.
During the shutdown, secondary TV stations like K24 and KBC had the opportunity of doubling or tripling their viewers. Additionally, these TV stations were able to retain the added viewers after the main stations returned on air. The stations recorded a 38 percent increase from February 9 to February 15 in comparison to the week prior the shutdown.
The report also shows that the shutdown affected overall television consumption where viewers spent fewer hours watching TV per day, while 18 percent of the viewers refrained from watching television completely during the shutdown.
The stations that were affected by the shutdown turned to online platforms to reach their audience, however, 65 percent of the viewers did not turn to these online platforms.
The full report also covers the rate of internet usage during the shutdown, change in TV consumption patterns, and public awareness of media shutdown.
The report used data from Geopoll‚Äôs daily media measurement service in Kenya and nationally representative survey of 515 Kenyans across the 47 counties.