United Christian Broadcasters

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United Christian Broadcasters
Industry Broadcasting
Founded Christchurch, New Zealand (1960s (1960s))
Headquarters Auckland, New Zealand
Key people Hal Short (President)
Website International

United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) is an international Christian broadcasting and media group. Through affiliates in twenty five countries, it operates radio and television stations and publishes and broadcasts Bob Gass's free daily devotionals The Word for You Today and word4u2day.

The group was started in New Zealand by Richard Berry. In the early 1960s, the Christchurch evangelical was inspired by Ecuadorian Christian short-wave radio station HCJB to set up a radio station in his garage. The station became a permanent operation in 1976, and in subsequent years it expanded throughout New Zealand.

The Rhema model was used to establish UCB affiliates in Australia, the United Kingdom, other Commonwealth countries, and beyond. In July 2010, UCB United Kingdom's UCB TV partnered with the mobile TV and video on demand network Yamgo to launch the world's first ever live Christian mobile TV channel.[1]

The Word for You Today[edit]

The Word For You Today is a free, daily devotional written by Bob Gass and distributed internationally by United Christian Broadcasters as a daily radio programme, as website content, as an email newsletter and as quarterly print editions. One million copies of the United Kingdom and Ireland print edition are distributed each quarter to hospitals, rest homes, care facilities and UCB supporters. Other regional editions are distributed to subscribers, churches and Christian organisations in other parts of the world.

Bob Gass has described the devotionals as "a kick start for cold mornings, when you don't feel like reading your Bible or find it a bit dry". He started writing The Word for Today devotional readings in 1992 as various inspirations he had received in forty years of being involved in Christian leadership and from the Biblical principles instilled in him by his mother. After positive response in the United States, he offered international rights to the devotionals to United Christian Broadcasters CEO Gareth Littler, with a successful first print run of 3500 copies in 1994 being distributed to UCB supporters in the United Kingdom.

Following requests and planning, a contemporary youth version, The Word 4U 2Day, was introduced in August 2003 in conjunction with Manchester Christian youth ministry The Message Trust. About 250,000 copies of the United Kingdom and Ireland print edition are distributed quarterly. The version is distributed by UCB youth stations as a radio programme and website content.[2]

UCB United Kingdom[edit]

UCB
Ucbmediawiki.gif
Broadcast area United Kingdom
Frequency DAB, Sky Digital, Internet, Mobile
First air date Founded 1986
Format Talk
Christian Music
Owner United Christian Broadcasters ltd
Webcast UCB Radio Streams
Website UCB

UCB United Kingdom is a registered charity and the country's largest Christian media company.[3] It aims to broadcast quality Christian radio programming, provide practical and insightful Christian television, and act as a support ministry for Christians. In pursuit of this it operates broadcast networks, publishes The Word For Today and word4u2day, operates the prayer support call centre UCB Prayerline and provides accredited industry training.[4]

The company is based in Stoke-on-Trent. It did its initial broadcasts via Manx Radio in the Isle of Man, although this gave limited geographical reach and only from 10pm until 2am, it did allow the station to bypass some of the UK's broadcasting laws and commence transmission earlier in the company's lifetime than would have otherwise been possible.[5]

UCB Media broadcasts Christian radio nationally on DAB, Sky Digital and Virgin Media platforms, and internationally through internet streaming. Alternative music station UCB Extra, Bible reading station UCB Bible and local station UCB Ireland are all streamed online.

UCB UK[edit]

National network UCB UK is available on DAB, Sky 0125, Virgin 914, online and via free iPhone app as well as a web app. UCB UK is broadcast nationally across the UK through formats of entertainment, the latest Christian music, news and current affairs, as well as thought-provoking interviews and discussions.

Presenters include Deanna Fletcher and Craig Wakeling (breakfast), Paul Hammond (mornings), Jess Cook (afternoons), Mike Rimmer (drive), Juls Martin (evenings), Catherine Hassall (weekends), Dudley Anderson (weekends). Programmes include UCB Unsigned, The Weekly Christian Music Chart with Steve Best, 20 the Countdown Magazine, Just Thinking with Ravi Zacharias, In Touch with Charles Stanley, Insight for Living with Chuck Swindoll, Different Perspective with Bernie Dymet, Precious Word of Truth with James McConnell, and Word For Today with Bob Gass.

UCB Inspirational[edit]

Christian teaching and easy listening music network, UCB Inspirational is available on DAB, Sky 0136 online and via free iPhone app. Presenters include Anne Henderson (breakfast), Ruth O'Reilly-Smith (afternoons), Craig Wakeling (drive), Trevor Kirk (evenings), David Piper (overnights), Jo Langley (weekends), Carl Finnan (weekends). Programmes include Foundations 21, Hymns of Faith, Deovox, Gospel Greats, Worship Without Words, Faith 4 Today, 66/40 with Chuck Missler, Unlocking the Bible, and Insight 4 Living.

UCB Gospel[edit]

Playing a selection of gospel music from the UK, US, Africa and the Caribbean, the UCB Gospel network is available on DAB, Sky 0135 online and via free iPhone app.

UCB Extra[edit]

Originally launched as 'UCB The Word' in 2003 'UCB Extra' was relaunched in 2013 as an alternative music station playing an upbeat and eclectic mix of Rock, Urban and electronic music from Christian bands and artists. The station also features specialist music shows such as 'Rock On' two hours of hard rock and metal and 'Beats' an hour of dance and electronica. UCB Extra is available online or on mobile devices via UCB and third party apps.

UCB TV[edit]

Christian television station UCB TV is available via the Eutelsat 28A satellite on Sky Digital channel 584 and online. UCB TV is the world's first ever live Christian mobile TV channel following its launch on the Yamgo mobile TV network on 6 July 2010. Programmes include Bayside TV, Hillsong TV, Edges with Mal Fletcher, Turning Point with David Jeremiah, Living Truth, Hope City TV, Way of the Master and Dreams for Living. Music programmes include the Gaither Gospel Series, UKCMC, Hillsong and Planetshakers.

UCB Prayerline and Forces Prayerline[edit]

UCB provide a confidential telephone service called UCB Prayerline with trained Christian volunteers who pray for callers' issues over the telephone.[6] The service is supported by churches from across the United Kingdom, manned 7 days a week and receives around 100,000 calls per year.[7] A parallel service, the Forces Prayerline, was started in Germany in 2005 and extended to the UK on 6 Nov 2008 at St Clement Danes Church, London, on the occasion of the annual Armed Forces Day of Prayer. This service supports servicemen, servicewomen and their families at home and abroad.[8][9]

Rhema Media New Zealand[edit]

Rhema Media
Broadcast area New Zealand
Format Rhema: talk radio (1978)
S Star: CCM (1997)
Life fm: CHR (1993)
Shine: Christian TV (2004)
Class Terrestrial/Internet
Owner Rhema Broadcasting Group

Rhema Media is the founding organisation of Untited Christian Broadcasting. It is also New Zealand's largest Christian media organisation, broadcasting four radio networks and a television station, and publishing the quarterly The Word for You Today devotional publication, from the Rhema Broadcasting Centre on Upper Queen Street in the central Auckland suburb of Newton.

Stations[edit]

The group's flagship network, New Zealand's Rhema, is an evangelical contemporary Christian radio network started in 1978. The initial programme/station manager, John McNeil, laid the groundwork for what became the network's relaxed talk and music format, in which a limited number of teaching programmes are intermingled with music, news and interviews.

Other stations include Southern Star, which plays classic contemporary Christian music and hymns, Life FM, a contemporary Christian hit radio network, and The Word, which broadcasts Bible readings. Rhema Media also operate Christian television channel Shine TV, which is available on Sky Television. UCB International previously owned, but never utilised, a network of New Zealand UHF stations now used by Prime TV.

UCB Australia[edit]

UCB Australia operates the nationwide Vision Radio Network, previously called Vision FM. It lso publishes The Word for Today and word4U2day, coordinates the PrayForMe prayer ministry and provides mailorder Christian resource service UCB Direct. It was featured in the Andrew Denton documentary film God on My Side. UCB's motto is "Connecting Faith to Life" and the radio network aims to make Christian Radio available for every Australian as a means to that end.

As at the close of 2008, Vision operated on over 360 licences, including low powered services in metropolitan suburbs and rural towns. It also operated some higher powered services in some regional areas and in Western Melbourne on 1611 AM. By the end of 2010, Vision had expanded to over 460 relay stations, mainly LPON licences (low power open narrowcast) but also including Adelaide 1611 AM. Vision's talk and music programming is aimed at "unpacking" what it means to follow Jesus Christ in an understandable way.

Early history[edit]

Vision began broadcasting from small studios in Springwood, Brisbane, Australia on 1 February 1999. A few years later they moved into larger premises in nearby Underwood to better provide a 24-hour 7-day broadcast to some 300+ relay stations across the nation, plus listeners on the Internet and via satellite. UCB Australia has been able to acquire around 500 high- and low-powered open narrowcast licenses and has quickly gone about the task of setting up a national network of relay stations across Australia, from the largest cities to regional centres and tiny isolated towns in the bush.

Many small to medium sized country towns in Australia have benefited from the cost-effective approach of using low-powered FM transmitters. Although typically only one to ten watts, they usually give quite adequate residential coverage in small towns, depending on the antenna height above local terrain. The setup cost is very achievable for most communities and the ongoing cost is minimal due to low maintenance equipment with low power consumption – some even use solar power in remote areas.

Expansion[edit]

In the twelve months following March 2001 a rapid expansion began, seeing the number of relay stations 'on-air' triple from around 30 to 90. Also in April 2001, UCB Australia introduced Australia's first nation-wide news service from a Christian perspective – UCB News. UCB News is heard across the Vision Radio Network, as well as being accessed by a growing number of community stations who don't have the resources to produce their own news content. During 2003 UCB had opportunity to secure its first high powered open narrowcast licences, which were soon put on air.

The network quickly reached 150 relay stations by the end of 2003, and in the following year would see its first foray into AM radio sites in Shepparton, Bunbury and Kalgoorlie. Just prior to Christmas 2004 a further 17 High Powered licences were secured to be on air the following year. Vision's 200th relay station was powered up on Australia Day 2005 at the Central Australian town of Yulara – right next to Uluru (Ayers Rock). Yarrawonga in Victoria had the honour of station number 300 in late 2007 and a significant development occurred in late 2008 with the unexpected acquisition of a medium powered AM service in Melbourne (1611AM).

UCB Philippines[edit]

In Makati, Philippines, United Christian Broadcasters operates internet radio station The Edge Media in partnership with the Asian Seminary of Christian Ministries and Century Broadcasting Network, a subsidiary of Century Communications Marketing Center Inc. (CMCCI). The station is an advocate for a Christian worldview and is used as a training ground for students from 15 Asian nations to learn how to open low cost stations in their countries. It plays contemporary Christian music including pop, hip hop, alternative, praise and gospel songs. It plays music from a wide range of Christian artists of various nationalities, including local contemporary Christian artists which fit its format.

Stations[edit]

Branding Callsign Frequency Power (Watts) Location
The Edge Radio Philippines n/a Internet radio n/a Worldwide
103.1 The Edge Radio Strong South DWMZ 103.1 MHz 5,000 Watts Calendaria / Lucena
90.3 The Edge Radio Dumaguete DYJC 90.3 MHz 5,000 Watts Dumaguete
92.9 The Edge Radio Guihulgnan DY__ 92.9 MHz 5,000 Watts Guihulgnan, Negros Oriental
97.3 JCFM The Edge Radio Trento DXJC 97.3 MHz 5,000 Watts Trento
104.3 The Edge Radio Davao DXMA 104.3 MHz 5,000 Watts Davao
101.5 The Edge Radio Kidapawan DX__ 101.5 MHz 5,000 Watts Kidapawan
92.7 The Edge Radio Sibugay DX__ 92.7 MHz 5,000 Watts Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay
94.1 The Edge Radio Vigan DWVN 94.1 MHz 5,000 Watts Vigan
91.7 The Edge Radio Tuguegarao DWCN 91.7 MHz 5,000 Watts Tuguegarao
103.1 The Edge Radio Naga DWKM-FM 100.7 MHz 5,000 Watts Naga City
98.8 The Edge Radio Tacloban DYXV 98.3 MHz 5,000 Watts Tacloban
97.5 The Edge Radio Butuan DXMK 97.5 MHz 5,000 Watts Butuan

UCB Canada[edit]

In Ontario, Canada, United Christian Broadcasters' Canadian affiliate operates 6 stations.

Stations[edit]

Branding Callsign Frequency Power (Watts) Location
UCB 102.3 Belleville CKJJ-FM 92.7 MHz 15,000 Watts Belleville, Ontario
UCB 103.5 Bancroft CKJJ-FM-4 103.5 MHz 250 Watts Bancroft, Ontario
UCB 100.5 Kingston CKJJ-FM-3 100.5 MHz 50 Watts Kingston, Ontario
UCB 99.9 Brockville CKJJ-FM-2 99.9 MHz 50 Watts Brockville, Ontario
UCB 90.7 Cobourg CHJJ-FM 90.7 MHz 250 Watts Cobourg, Ontario
UCB 89.3 Chatham CKGW-FM 89.3 MHz 15,000 Watts Chatham, Ontario

On December 5, 2014, the CRTC approved a new UCB outlet on 90.5 FM in Windsor, Ontario, which will broadcast at 1730 watts.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ World’s First Christian Mobile TV Channel Available Globally As Yamgo Launch UCB at yamgo.com. Accessed on 2 Dec 2010.
  2. ^ The Word For Today & Bob Gass at ucb.co.uk. Accessed on 2 May 2009.]
  3. ^ Charity number 299128 at www.charitiesdirect.com. Accessed on 3 May 9.
  4. ^ Customer case study at www.computersoftware.com. Accessed on 2 May 9.
  5. ^ http://www.crossrhythms.co.uk/articles/music/UCB_Cross_Rhythms__A_marriage_made_in_heaven/40689/p1/
  6. ^ About Prayerline at www.ucb.co.uk. Accessed on 28 Jan 2011.
  7. ^ UCB Prayerline at www.carrickfergusbaptist.com. Accessed on 28 Jan 2011.
  8. ^ UCB to launch prayer line for Armed Forces at www.christiantoday.co.uk. Accessed on 28 Jan 2011.
  9. ^ Forces Prayerline Launch in UK at www.rafcom.co.uk. Accessed on 28 Jan 2011.
  10. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2014-628, English-language specialty commercial FM radio station in Windsor, CRTC, December 5, 2014

External links[edit]