In an effort to build on the popularity of the growing faith-based market that has been spurred on by the release of movies like Ben-Hur, Captive and Heaven is Real over the last two years, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey are introducing Light TV, a Christian and family focused television channel.
Downey and Burnett are behind some of the most popular Christian television programs to air in recent years and have become synonymous with faith-based programming in America. Working on everything from live television to motion pictures, Downey and Burnett want to provide unique quality programming to an ever-growing niche audience.
The docuseries the two produced for the History Channel in 2013, called The Bible, received much acclaim and was a ratings success, paving the way for follow-up series such as The Dovekeepers and A.D: The Bible Continues.
Light TV, which is a joint project between Downey’s production company, Lightworkers Media, and MGM, where Burnett is president, will offer, “wholesome family and faith-based entertainment programming” 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“This is the last unclaimed vertical,” said Downey during an announcement for Light TV. “As we have already seen from the success of The Bible series and our 20 million social followers this audience is looking for inspiring and uplifting programming that they can watch in a trusted and safe environment on any platform”
While the new channel will feature new specialty programming, Light TV’s programming schedule will also rely heavily on MGM’s large library of family oriented movies to help provide the 24/7 content that will be needed to hold the audience’s attention.
“With the combined experience of myself and Roma, plus MGM’s family-friendly library, Light TV will become an ideal platform to reach the enormously, underserved family audience,” noted Burnett.
Available as of December 1st through a dozen Fox affiliates in major American cities including Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, Light TV has plans to expand throughout America during 2017.
While viewers across America and the rest of the world may have to wait until their local affiliate is able to carry Light TV, there are a variety of other alternative faith-based television providers already out there.
In Canada YES TV, formerly CTS, has been a long time provider of unique Christian focused content. One of the networks most popular shows, 100 Huntley Street, which offers insightful and engaging programming really took shape when former CEO Don Simmonds helped to rebrand CTS into the popular channel it is today.
In addition to YES TV and Light TV, there are a variety of faith-based channels available and there is no shortage of programs and movies working their way through the production phase. The majority of this new niche content will largely focus on Christianity and its origins.
Last year, Fox News dubbed the new popularity of Christian-focused programming as the ‘Bible Boom’ and predicted it would last well into 2017 and beyond.