The Trinity Broadcasting Network, sometimes abbreviated to TBN, is a niche television network in the states. Unlike a lot of programming and television networking companies, they have two unique features; they offer 24 hours a day worth of screen time and they offer Christian/ inspirational programming, rather than most basic satellite channels which offer basic programming.
Since their launch they have managed to get around the United States extremely quickly. They originally had their head quarters in Costa Mesa, California. Since then they have opened studios to assist with their operation in the likes of Irving, Texas; Hendersonville, Tennessee; Decatur, Georgia; Miami, Florida; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Orlando, Florida; and New York City.
In terms of channels that are directly related to faith and religious based television, this is the biggest network in the whole of the United States. The programming on this network does vary a great deal, although the majority of programs are Protestant and Catholic. Alongside these there are also and Full Gospel churches, Non Profit Charities, Jewish and Christian programming. It offers the biggest diversity of faith based programming on US TV.
TBN was originally created in 1973 and consisted of ideas from Paul Crouch and Jan Crouch and Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye Bakker. According to recent statistics, it currently sits in 6th place compared to other over the air broadcasters that are located in the states. Alongside TBN in the rankings are the likes of NBC and FOX, so they are certainly a force to be reckoned with.
To keep its operation expanding quicker than ever, TBN tries to gain as much control of the industry as possible. At present, they are the owner of 5 other independent network television channels. Most of these channels are either dedicated to religion, or have some sort of connect. Their portfolio includes: TBN, JCTV, TBN Enlace, Smile of a Child and The Church Channel.
Whilst the company was formed back in 1973, the operations really got going in 1978. This was when the network decided to start distributing their content through cable systems, which would mean much more consistency for viewers. This network was well involved with religious activity and for the same reason, was registered as a member of the National Religious Broadcasters until 1990.
To begin with, all was not as it seems now and the network did do some struggling. They began by renting time on air from the likes of UHF TV which were a local station based in Santa Ana, California.
Some people really do not understand the extent to how badly this could have gone. Crouch has since wrote an autobiography labeled Hello World! In this, he stresses how financially unstable the company was in its first few days, to a point where their were facing bankruptcy on day 2 of operation.
Due to FCC must-carry rules, TBN has been forced to purchase much needed independent television stations. Without these stations, they would not be able to gain the cable carriage that they really need. They certainly made the right decision, as the network is now readily available to 95% of the American population, which is a vast amount of people.
TBN keeps a lot of its regular viewers up to date on their online website. Their website actually suggests that they have over several hundreds of stations that affiliate with it. Most are low powered stations, which mean they can only be viewed by people within a few miles. That being said, there are over 60 UHF or VHF which have the ability to give out a lot more to their viewers, from much further away.
Big news hit the screens for people that were looking for Christian television. Now there was only one place to watch and that was on TBN. After recent development they became the only network to produce their content only in high definition. The problem for them was that it was only the national feed that could handle the transmission of HD. This meant that the smaller privately owned stations were not yet equipped for this type of development and TBN lost them as affiliates.
The Trinity Broadcasting Network is always looking for new and innovative ways to create new opportunities in the market place. They want to ensure that they can get the most out of what they have to offer and serve as many people globally as humanely possible.
They have certainly laid the foundations for a bright future, having over 70 satellites on a global scale for a start. That being said on a world wide scale they have over 18,000 affiliates. These affiliates are a mixture of cable and TV channels and networks.
Thanks to their facilities, they are able to accommodate affiliates in places other than the United States. This is because their International Production Center in Irving, Texas has the equipment and power to instantly transfer content in a huge variation of different languages instantly, making life easier for the affiliate.
As a result of their growth and success over the last decade or so, their place in the industry has remained strong. TBN now reaches a database of viewers that spans well over 100 million. That being said, around 5% watch the channel on a weekly basis, meaning that around 5 million people keep coming back for more.
This may be due to the fact that cable television and satellite systems on a global scale mean that it is available in 75 different countries. Take this figure for reference; around 300 TV stations in the US currently carry TBN.
TBN has grown into something that many thought it never could. It has come from the first few days where they were facing bankruptcy, right through today where they serve 100 million people, in 75 different countries. They started as they meant to go on and have come a long way since their initial launch. All of this is partly due to the early acquisition of other networks and channels that are directly related.