FAITH BROADCASTING NETWORK – 20th ANNIVERSARY
May 2022 marks the 20th anniversary of Faith Broadcasting Network. The preceding 20 years is a testimony to the goodness of God and the manifestation of the power of His Word and Holy Spirit.
Christian television on the continent of Africa has grown extensively since 2000, 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. The late Dr Bernard Roebert, father of Dr André Roebert, headed up a 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 Drs André & Jenny Roebert, started River Broadcasting Network (part of River Ministries), which broadcast Christian programs 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 South Africa, it was decided to rather pursue broadcast via direct-to-home (DTH) platforms. So, it was then 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; therefore, he was 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 able to apply for, and obtain a channel on the national satellite bouquet of Multichoice Africa. After 16 years and a rebranding, FAITH BROADCASTING NETWORK now provides choice Christian content to satellite, terrestrial and digital viewers across the continent of Africa and beyond.
Through the years the premium Christian channel on DStv341 was complimented by the addition of two other channels – FaithTV and FaithUK (Sky UK 594). FAITH BROADCASTING NETWORK now potentially commands the attention of more than 60 million viewers across its satellite channels, as well as a global audience through its digital platform of FaithNOW.
Today professional FCC facilities broadcast the signal from the FAITH BROADCASTING NETWORK headquarters in East London, South Africa, as well as Miami FL in the USA.
In addition, various studios have been built from where programs are recorded and broadcast live to television audiences. With the advent of social media, FAITH BROADCASTING NETWORK now incorporates fully interactive live broadcasts (internet streaming and social media platforms) in addition to the satellite transmissions.
Since 2016 FAITH BROADCASTING NETWORK is also distributed more widely on digital platforms through an app via AppleTV, ROKU, Android TV, FireTV, XBox One and Tizen on the FaithTV channel. Additionally, the three satellite channels are streamed through web- based platforms. This increases the exposure of FAITH BROADCASTING NETWORK to potentially 264 million viewers worldwide.
In March 2020 the world awoke to the catastrophic outbreak of the COVID19 virus, which quickly escalated to a global pandemic. On March 18, 2020, the signature live program, FAITH TODAY LIVE, started broadcasting live from the USA. These broadcasts have since continued uninterrupted, and at time the time of writing 688 shows have been broadcast live to the entire viewership. Truly a beacon of hope and light in a chaotic environment! We see the hand of God in the establishment of Faith Broadcasting Network and the impact it has on the spiritual temperature of all its viewers.
The work that God has started 20 years ago is far from finished, and what was established over that time is now in place as a legacy to future generations of programmers, producers, and viewers! We are excited to be a part of the continuing journey in this plan of God.