A $500,000 matching grant has allowed SAT-7 to become the only remaining Christian television service for millions of analogue viewers in the Arab world. Since the beginning of this month, SAT-7 has made its Arabic Christian programs available one hour each day for seven days a week. Previously SAT-7 aired two hour programs four days of week (Thursdays through Saturday) on its analogue channel and simultaneously broadcasted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on its digital channel.
“We are delighted about this development and grateful for a significant gift which enables us to maintain a presence in the analogue spectrum,” said Terence Ascott, SAT-7’s CEO. “SAT-7 is committed to providing quality Christian television for its many viewers who rely exclusively on analogue transmissions, because they have been unable to acquire new digital TV equipment.”
As part of the matching grant, for every contribution given to the analogue channel, the donor will match that dollar-for-dollar up to a total of $500,000. SAT-7 is hoping for Christians, churches and ministries around the world to further support SAT-7 and assist in ensuring the activation of the entire matching grant.
Although the total number of hours will be reduced from 8 to 7, the daily service makes the analogue channel significantly more viable. “When you are only on the air a few days a week, it’s difficult to build or maintain an audience. But when a viewer knows that SAT-7’s analogue service is on at the same time every day, watching it can become a part of their regular routine. The daily analogue service also opens the opportunity for people who can’t watch Thursdays through Sundays to tune in,” explained Ascott.
Since 1996, SAT-7 has provided television service broadcasts for the Christians of the Middle East and North Africa, giving its audience an opportunity to hear a presentation of the Christian message in its own language. More than 60 percent of SAT-7’s programs are created by Arab Christians for Arab viewers.
Earlier this month, SAT-7 became the only analogue Arabic Christian service available in the Arab nations after one other moved off the analogue spectrum.