Tuesday, June 14, 2005
The Catholic Church in Scotland has hailed the launch of Catholic TV
network EWTN on the SKY satellite as "a massive step forward for
religious broadcasting in Britain."
Chairman of the Bishops' Conference Communications Commission, Ronnie
Convery, said the new agreement with SKY would dramatically improve the
quality of viewing on offer to subscribers.
He said: "The announcement that EWTN, the Global Catholic Network is
to broadcast on the Sky satellite is perhaps the biggest step forward in
religious broadcasting in Britain in our lifetimes.
"Even in the so-called glory days of religious broadcasting in the
1960s, the Catholic community could have, at best, hoped for one or two
broadcast Masses per month. Now many Catholics will be able to watch
Mass every day. In addition, they will have access to all the
activities of the Holy Father in Rome and round the world.
"So often we lament that the mainstream broadcasters do not cover
such important events as World Youth Day or Midnight Mass from St
Peter's. No longer is that the case. All such events will now be
available live, as they happen, with English language commentary to
"In addition the network offers a vast array of impressive Catholic
content * everything from youth chat shows to lives of the saints;
from children's programming to informative broadcasts from some of the
great Catholic writers of our day.
"Although EWTN began as an American station, it has internationalised
a lot in recent years. Our own Archbishop Conti of Glasgow has
presented a series on the scriptures of Advent; Lord Alton is a regular
contributor, as are many of the leading figures in Catholic life in the
EWTN, the Global Catholic Network, has its television service on SKY
Guide number 680. The availability of the Network on SKY's
direct-to-home satellite platform makes EWTN's television programming
accessible to more than 7.8 million SKY subscribers, representing a
sizable leap in the number of EWTN viewers in the United Kingdom and
Ireland who already receive the EWTN television service. It also
completes EWTN's presence on digital satellite, where the Network's
radio service has already been on SKY Guide 897 for some years. The
channel is also available to non-subscribers on SKY's FreeSat service,
which offers approximately 115 free-to-air channels at no monthly
subscription cost, with the purchase of satellite equipment.
Catholic Media Office
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0141 221 1168