New Report Shows that TBN’s ’Praise the Lord’ Program Devotes Only 2% of Air Time to Fundraising
Shattering Old Myths
Dec. 16, 2004(LOS ANGELES)--One common belief is that religious television programs spend most of their time asking for money. That myth, though, has been shattered for several ministries, including the Trinity Broadcasting Network, with the release of Stephen Winzenburg’s new research document, “TV Ministries Impact 2004 Election, Fail to Open Financial Records.”
Winzenburg, a communication professor at Grand View College in Des Moines, Iowa, studied the “air time” habits of 26 top television ministries. One of his startling findings was that TV preachers “spend an average of 17% of their airtime in fund raising and promotion.” Commercial TV, on the other hand, “devotes 28% of its airtime to ads and promos.”
“Once again religious broadcasters use much less time in fund raising and promotion than commercial television devotes to advertising,” said Winzenburg. “It’s a myth that TV preachers spend the bulk of their air time asking for money.”
According to Winzenburg’s research, TBN’s popular flagship program, “Praise the Lord,” devoted the vast majority of its air time to spiritual ministry. For the Summer/Fall of 2004, only 2% of TBN’s “Praise the Lord” program was devoted to fund raising. Plus, only 4% of program time focused on promotion. When combined, TBN’s “Praise the Lord” total focus on fund raising and promotion was a paltry 6% -- a significant 22% below the average for the 26 ministries surveyed. Even if TBN’s bi-annual telethons are factored in, it only represents 7% of the total programming time that is devoted to viewer support. This is still 10% below the national average of other ministries and 21% below commercial television.
“This study confirms what TBN viewers have known all along,” said Paul Crouch Jr., TBN’s vice president of administration, “that just a small percent of TBN’s air time is devoted to fund raising. The evidence is clear that TBN is primarily about helping people and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.”
TBN continues to attract new viewers through a unique portfolio of programming values, ministry platforms, original programs that offer an upscale connection to family-based values, wholesome entertainment, and original programming. TBN’s content portfolio continues to appeal to viewers from various walks of life including people from different ethnic groups, age categories, and Christian denominations.
At the network level, TBN is America’s market leader in faith-based programming, and it is the most watched religious network in the world. TBN now reaches every major continent via 46 satellites and more than 10,000 television and cable affiliates worldwide. In the United States alone, TBN is available to 92% of total households.
For more on TBN visit www.tbn.org. The full report by Stephen Winzenburg can be viewed at http://faculty.gvc.edu/swinzenburg/tv_ministries_study.pdf.
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