New digital TV network to bring faith and family-oriented programming to light
HOLLYWOOD, California, November 21, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The husband-and-wife producers behind The Bible TV series and other Christian-themed films are starting a faith and family-friendly television network.
Mark Burnett and Roma Downey announced the creation of Light TV last week. The digital network is set to begin next month on Fox stations and affiliates in more than a dozen cities, The Stream reported, as a venue for “wholesome family and faith-based entertainment programming.”
The couple is partnering with MGM Studios, allowing them to air movies from the studio’s vault on the 24-hour network, which will also air programs such as Fox’s prime-time game show Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?, the 1980’s NBC drama Highway to Heaven and Canadian drama Heartland.
Light TV will debut in major markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Orlando, Phoenix, Minneapolis, and Charlotte, N.C.
Burnett said the new watch-for-free network is “an ideal platform to reach the enormously, underserved family audience.”
The couple has been looking to launch a faith-focused digital venture for some time, Variety reports.
Broadcast TV stations around the country have seen success in digital multicasting – when a single station provided multiple channels of separate programming simultaneously for free over the air with such channels as TV Land and MeTV, making the family and advertiser-friendly venture the perfect next step for Burnett and Downey.
MGM acquired Downey’s LightWorkers Media production company two years ago as part of its purchase of Burnett’s One Three Media, with Burnett now president of MGM Television and Digital.
The couple has been leaders in Christian filmmaking for the last several years, producing Woodlawn, Son of God, A.D., The Bible Continues, and the 2016 rendition of Ben-Hur.
“This is the last unclaimed vertical,” Downey said. “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.”
Other family-friendly MGM titles available for airing on the new network include Rocky, Hoosiers, Red River, Little Man Tate, The Nutcracker, Lilies of the Field, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Black Stallion, All Dogs Go To Heaven, Pink Panther, Fame, and Mr. Mom.