The Worship Network
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|Type||Broadcast, cable, satellite, online|
|Availability||Over 50 nations|
|Slogan||Your Place. Your Time.|
|Owner||The Christian Network, Inc.|
|Bruce Koblish, CEO
Paul S. Williams, Chairman of the Board of Stewards
Bud Paxson, Founder
The Worship Network, or Worship, is a broadcast television service that provides alternative Christian worship-themed programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The network is based in Nashville, Tennessee, in the United States, and is available in more than 50 countries.
The network was broadcast on a digital subchannel of ION Television's owned and operated stations placed after ION Life on a station's digital channel map, usually broadcasting on the -DT4 subchannel. However, ION dropped the network from its stations on January 31, 2010.
The Worship Network was founded in 1992 by Lowell W. "Bud" Paxson, co-founder of HSN, who later founded the PAX TV Network (now ION Television). Paxson, an evangelical Christian since 1985, wanted to "create an atmosphere in the home to inspire and encourage a quiet time to worship God" and from that vision, The Worship Network was launched.
Outlets for the new network increased rapidly. By 1994, there were 50 affiliate stations and The Worship Network had just begun its first European affiliate, in Iceland, and a year later, the number had doubled to 100 affiliates and the network had launched in Asia, in the region of Taiwan. In 1996, the network began satellite broadcasting, via Sky Angel. It is coming soon to Dish Network.[when?]
When the PAX TV network was launched in 1998, the Worship Network provided overnight programming, and in 2005 PAX TV and the Worship Network struck a deal where the network would be carried on a digital subchannel of PAX TV stations 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In 2006, the network had more than 250 broadcast affiliates, and is available on every inhabited continent. In 2006 the network began producing shows in HD (high definition), although it does not broadcast in HD. However, in 2010, the Worship Network was dropped from digital Ion TV-owned-and-operated stations.
Unlike conventional networks, the Worship Network does not offer dramas, situation comedies, sports or news; rather, its main program, called "Worship", consists simply of Bible scriptures displayed on a nature backdrop, while contemporary Christian worship music plays in the background. Interspersed among the videos and music are brief stories of faith, narrated by worship leaders.
Since 2005, when the network began their 24/7 digital broadcast, other forms of programming have been added to this mix. Newer programs include infomercials featuring Christian products, comedy specials featuring Christian comedians, and concerts produced by The Worship Network.
The Worship Network programming is available from several other sources apart from their 24/7 digital broadcast. The NRB Network on DirecTV plays Worship during the early morning hours. Sky Angel carries a 24/7 feed of the Worship Network on its IPTV platform. Worship provides a 24/7 live stream of its broadcast as well as much of its programming via on-demand streaming from its official website. Many of Worship's programs are available on DVD, also available at the official website.