The determination of the most popular Tv station brings a lot of controversy because unlike in football where everybody has his preference, when most Kenyans are asked about which their Tv station is, they would mostly tell according to time. ‘I watch NTV from 8 to catch up with the soap opera show they got’. A man would say, ‘I watch news at 1 pm from NTV, at 7 pm I watch Citizen, and at 9 I watch news from KTN.’ No one really has a steady hold of which is their favourite and popular station.
For 28 years, KBC was the only TV station in Kenya, mostly acting as the government mouthpiece. It was the popular TV station in the country then. But with time, KTN came over and the other TV stations followed soon after. From the day KBC lost its monopoly, it lost its popularity and viewership too. You wouldn’t get a lot of people nowadays saying they watch KBC, especially in the urban areas. Most people up to today think it’s always biased towards the government.
In terms of viewership, Citizen TV boasts the highest number of viewers. This has been mostly alluding to its airing of local programmes. It seems Kenyans now have a thirsty of locally produced programmes. With Citizen TV boasting of Machachari, Papa Shirandula, Mother in Law plus contests like Sakata and Tusker Project Fame we can see why most people are glued to it. But Citizen TV has come under criticism of not offering quality wise news, that’s why you will find people switching to KTN or NTV for news.
It will be fair to say in terms of news Citizen TV is lagging behind KTN and NTV in that order. Other TV stations have considerably invested enough to see if they can shake the dominance of the three, one notable example is K24, we will have to wait to see if they will be able to do that.
There are other many stations in the country, though they attract peoples attentions through specific programmes they air- for instance KISS TV, Q TV, Family TV, E-TV, EA TV, GBS and many others. These stations however face huge competition in Kenya from the major 3- KTN, Citizen and NTV. The popularity of TV stations therefore vary with season, time, programmes being aired, quality of news, visibility of the station, flow of events and many other individual preferences.