On 30th January 2018, four Kenyan TV channels were taken off air following a government enforced directive.  KTN News, NTV, Citizen TV and Inooro TV, which usually command over 50% of total TV viewership, were switched off due to their coverage of a controversial event by the opposition party leader Raila Odinga. NTV & KTN News were switched back on after 7 days, on February 5th, while Citizen TV & Inooro TV remained switched off until February 8th.

GeoPoll 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.

An overview of the report is below: To purchase the full report, please contact us here.


Citizen TV, KTN, and NTV are the top three TV channels in Kenya, with Citizen TV alone making up 27% of audience share in Q4 2017. Given this, the shutdown had a clear and immediate effect on TV viewership in Kenya. Stations that were not turned off had a unique opportunity to gain viewers during this time, and several secondary stations including K24 and KBC were able to double or triple their viewership during the shutdown.

GeoPoll found that several of these secondary stations were able to hold onto viewers following the return of the main stations, seeing increases in viewership of up to 38% from February 9th – 15th as compared to the week before the shutdown.

Our report also looked at how the shutdown had an impact on overall TV consumption, finding that viewers were watching fewer hours of TV per day, and that 18% of viewers chose not to watch television at all during the shutdown. Several of the stations that were shut down utilized online streaming to reach their audience, but 65% of viewers did not turn into these online channels.

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Data points in the full report include:

  • Change in TV consumption patterns, including number of hours watched and locations from where TV was watched
  • Uptake in consumption of new TV programs during the shutdown
  • The public’s awareness of a media shutdown
  • Rate of internet usage for during the shutdown period,
  • The switch over to online broadcasts of the shutdown TV channels

GeoPoll’s full report on the Kenya media shutdown includes data from GeoPoll’s daily media measurement service in Kenya, as well as results from a nationally representative survey of 515 Kenyans across all 47 counties in Kenya. The full report is available for purchase by contacting us here.