SAT-7 PARS’ AUDIENCE DOUBLES IN LESS THAN A YEAR
In May 2017, SAT-7 PARS significantly expanded its audience reach by launching on the Yahsat satellite. New Audience Relations data shows that the number of viewers contacting SAT-7 PARS has almost doubled since the channel began to broadcast on Yahsat, with significantly more Afghans responding.
Compared to Hotbird, the satellite platform SAT-7 PARS has been broadcasting on since 2006, Yahsat provides a much stronger signal into the Persian-speaking world, including Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan. It requires a much smaller satellite dish – which is very attractive to viewers in Iran, where all dishes are technically illegal! In fact, Yahsat is one of the most viewed satellites in the region, with an estimated 9.5 million viewing households in Iran alone.
Yahsat delivers to SAT-7 PARS a whole new audience, one which until now has not had the opportunity to see any Christian channels on this new satellite system, since SAT-7 PARS is the first and only Christian channel on Yahsat. When SAT-7 PARS began broadcasting on Yahsat, in addition to Hotbird, the channel’s potential audience doubled overnight, providing the opportunity to touch many more people with a message of God’s love and hope.
INCREASED AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT
After launching on Yahsat, the SAT-7 PARS Audience Relations team immediately noticed an increase in contact from viewers, suggesting that new viewers were finding the channel and being positively impacted. Overall audience ‘engagements’ (which refer to a conversation with a viewer, for example, a telephone call) increased by 95 percent in just a few months!
Panayiotis Keenan, Executive Director of the SAT-7 PARS channel, says:
“It is exciting to see that in a very short period of time there has been a huge increase in viewers contacting us. It is likely that our audience has grown substantially in 2017, and new viewers are contacting us every month!”
POSITIVE RESPONSES FROM AFGHANISTAN
The SAT-7 PARS Audience Relations team also noticed a vast increase in callers from Afghanistan. This can be directly attributed to Yahsat, which seems to have far more viewers in Afghanistan than the Hotbird satellite.
“One of our goals as a channel is to be more accessible to Persian speakers outside of Iran, particularly in places such as Afghanistan,” Keenan explains.
“Yahsat has helped us to do this and, as a consequence, we are seeing many new and encouraging testimonies coming from viewers in Afghanistan. We are now working on providing even more resources for our Afghan audience, such as programs in their own dialects.”
After May 2017, Afghanistan became one of the top countries viewers were contacting SAT-7 PARS from – second only to Iran. Previously, Afghanistan had not even been one of the top ten countries. It is exciting to see this new and growing audience in Afghanistan and know that they are now significantly impacted by SAT-7 PARS programming.
Moreover, the SAT-7 PARS Audience Relations team have had many encouraging conversations with viewers in Afghanistan wanting to know more about the Christian faith. In a country where believers are often isolated and have limited access to Christian resources, receiving support from our Audience Relations team and having 24/7 access to encouraging Christian programs on the channel is a lifeline.
SAT-7 PARS is now broadcasting 24/7 on both Hotbird and Yahsat. Together, the satellites provide coverage from Western Europe to the far reaches of the Middle East on the two most popular satellite platforms in the Persian-speaking world, maximising the channel’s potential audience.
After less than a year of broadcasting on Yahsat, the positive results are already evident. With a growing audience and increased viewer engagement, the future holds even more opportunities for SAT-7 PARS to grow its impact in the region.