…from humble beginnings in Africa now penetrating a global audience…
Christian television on the continent of Africa has grown extensively over the last 15 years, both on satellite as well as terrestrially. The forerunner to this explosion was the introduction of Christian television in 1986 via terrestrial broadcasts in the Eastern Cape. Dr Bernhard Roebert, father of Dr André Roebert, headed up the small television station in Bhisho, capital of the former Ciskei. The vision for a television broadcast division as part of River Ministries was birthed early in 2002, when God firmly placed the desire in Dr André and Jenny’s hearts.
In 2002 the founders of River Ministries, Drs André & Jenny Roebert, started River Broadcasting Network (part of River Ministries), which broadcast Christian programmes on the DStv Commercial Platform. The purpose for the network was to establish a 24/7 channel with exclusively Christian content. Since terrestrial broadcasts were prohibitively expensive to cover all of South Africa, it was decided to rather pursue broadcast via satellite. So it was that RBN started broadcasting on a shared, free-to-air space on an educational channel operated by Pretoria University. At that time the entire system was manually operated with two BetaCam machines being fed tapes by an operator!
Soon after the launch of the channel, RBN was contacted by one of the largest Christian television networks in the USA and offered free content. The approach of the president of this international network was always that the Gospel of Christ was free; he was, therefore, happy to provide content to further the spreading of this Gospel over Africa. At a later stage the branding of the USA network was offered to the channel in South Africa and until the time of the president’s death this remained in place.
With a new line-up of quality Christian programming, RBN was in a position to apply for, and obtain a channel on the national satellite bouquet of Multichoice Africa. After 15 years and a rebranding, FAITH FAMILY OF NETWORKS is providing choice Christian content to satellite and terrestrial, and digital viewers accross the continent of Africa and beyond.
Through the years the premium Christian channel on DStv341 was complimented by the addition of two other satellite channels – FlowTV (Sky UK 595) and FaithUSA (Dish269). FAITH FAMILY OF NETWORKS now potentially commands the attention in excess of 64 million viewers across its satellite channels.
Today a state-of-the-art FCC facility broadcasts the signal from the FAITH FAMILY OF NETWORKS’ headquarters in East London, South Africa, as well as Marco Island and Miami in the USA. In addition, various studios have been built from where programmes are recorded and broadcast live to television audiences. With the advent of Social Media, FAITH FAMILY OF NETWORKS now incorporates fully interactive live broadcasts (internet streaming and social media platforms) in addition to the satellite transmissions.
Since May 2016 FAITH FAMILY OF NETWORKS is also distributed digitally more widely by adding its programming to other platforms; global viewers are now exposed to the content via Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Android TV, as well as a new streaming application via the Apple App Store and Google Play. In addition, VOD services are provided via FaithOnDemand, Truli and NUVU. This exposure increases the FAITH FAMILY OF NETWORKS potential viewership to approximately 264 million worldwide.