Television programming has changed quite a bit over the years. As with most services, its evolution is driven by a demand from subscribers. Early on, satellite TV didn’t offer a whole lot in the way of religious channels (for a variety of reasons). To the credit of DIRECTV and DISH (the leading satellite TV providers), they’ve recently done quite a bit to add Christian Satellite TV channels to their lineup.
There’s a reason DIRECT and DISH are firmly at the head of the pack. They offer a relatively huge amount of channels at very low prices ($30-$100/mo less than cable). When you’re looking for specialty channels, such as Christian and religious broadcasting, your first step should be to compare the channel lineups of each service. We’ve analyzed a few of the more popular ones below:
The 24-hour channel that transmits programming ranging from bible study to enriching seminars was originally created in 1995 and renamed to “God TV” in 2002. While they claim to reach hundreds of millions of people, the only place you’ll find them on satellite TV is with DIRECTV (most cable providers carry them as well). DISH hasn’t made any immediate plans to carry GOD TV so if you’re a local viewer, DIRECTV may be your best option (see the latest direct tv reviews).
Christian Broadcasting Network
CBN is one of the longest-running Christian-dedicated channels on television. Founded in 1995, it features popular programs such as the 700 Club, Christian World News and CBN NewsWatch. Thanks to its partnership with high-distribution channels, the Christian Broadcasting Network is carried on both satellite TV providers. It’s available on DIRECT via ABC Family (channel 311), Trinity Broadcasting Channel (372) and NRB (378). You can find it on DISH on ABC Family (180) and TBN (260).
Trinity Broadcasting Network
Launched in 1973 the TBN is probably the largest faith-based channel in the US. Over the years, the Trinity Broadcasting Network has expanded to four other networks: Church Channel, TBN Enlace, Smile of a Child TV and JCTV. Channel 372 on DIRECTV and 260 on DISH, they recently ran into a financial downturn due to the recession and lack of donations, forcing them to sell off some of their broadcasting equipment. They’re still in full operation and have a legion of fans, they just had to downsize like so many other companies out there, religious or not.
Daystar Television Network
A relatively recent upstart (1997), Daystar has risen to major prominence over the last decade. Featuring shows such as Celebration, Check the Sound and Joni, Daystar can be found on both satellite TV providers (channel 369 on DIRECTV and 262 on DISH). As with TBN, they’ve been noticeably impacted by the economy, having to downsize production efforts across the country. There’s plenty of support for Daystar, so don’t expect it to go anywhere anytime soon.
If your home entertainment primarily consists of Christian satellite TV, you’ll find pretty a pretty good home with either DIRECT TV or DISH. They’ve both continued to make major strides in faith-based programming and that shouldn’t change over the coming years. Currently, GOD TV is DIRECTV only so if you’re committed to that channel, it’s a fairly easy decision — otherwise, compare dish vs directtv, paying special attention to their religious programming, and make sure your favorite channels are covered before signing up.