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|Sister channels||KTN News Kenya|
|Launched||March 5, 1990|
Kenya Television Network is a Kenyan free-to-air television network that was launched in March 1990 by Jared Kangwana. It is headquartered at Standard Group Centre, Nairobi. It was the first free-to-air privately-owned television network in Africa, and the first to break KBC's monopoly in Kenya.
KTN became famous for activist journalism in the 1990s.
After its launch in 1990, KTN used to rebroadcast programming from CNN International, MTV Europe and other European, American and Australian television channels, in addition to TV networks from other African states. KTN started out as a pilot project for a 24-hour subscription-television channel in Nairobi and its surroundings, but plans to scramble its signal were abandoned and for most of the 1990s, KTN derived its revenue from advertisement and TV production services. Founded by Jared Kangwana, its early success attracted bids for joint ownership by London-based Maxwell Communications, by South African MNET, and by the then-ruling party Kenya African National Union (KANU). The station won the bid to carry the 1992 Summer Olympics, as well as the rights to several other international events.
While Jared Kangwana had plans to expand KTN, and had built new facilities to house the station, he allowed free rein to KTN's news division. KANU functionaries are said to have frequently called the newsroom and editors on behalf of the president of Kenya,Daniel arap Moi, in order to censor news stories. Such control was said to have been sanctioned by Moi himself, who had developed the habit while he was still vice-president under president Jomo Kenyatta. As vice-president, Daniel arap Moi had grown used to make regular calls to the offices of The Standard which was foreign-owned at that time, and to other media outlets, to demand that they drop stories or modify them. The practice was revived when KTN was established.
In October 1993 security officers boarded a commercial airliner, seized the passport of KTN Director Jared Kangwana, and prevented him from departing on a business trip. Kangwana said that the act was part of a government intimidation campaign to force him to relinquish control of KTN to the then-ruling party, KANU. The government took no action to institute criminal proceedings against Kangwana but ultimately succeeded in forcing him to cede the company to KANU. The station is now part of The Standard Group, which also publishes The Standard newspaper.