2020 SETS RECORD FOR VIEWER RESPONSES TO CHRISTIAN PROGRAMS
While 2020 was an extraordinarily hard year for many, it was also a year in which God was on the move in extraordinary ways. Soaring audience engagement with SAT-7 channels shows that amid COVID-19, the hope of Christ shared through television touched more people than ever in the Middle East and North Africa.
As we enter a new year, SAT-7 looks back on 2020 as a record year of interactions between our viewers and our audience support teams. After the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) began confronting the challenge of COVID-19 in March, a 30 percent climb in audience engagements* for SAT-7 overall showed how many turned to Christian programs for support.
The growth was especially marked for the channels that serve Turkish viewers and Arabic-speaking children, and for SAT-7 ACADEMY education programs. Audience engagement for SAT-7 KIDS climbed by 90 percent (to 47,300 contacts). Contacts for the Turkish channel, SAT-7 TŰRK, rose 120 per cent (to 25,300), and audience engagement for SAT-7 ACADEMY soared by 328 per cent (to 47,500). Between January and September 2020, SAT-7 received 310,000 audience engagements in total, almost a third more than during the same period in 2019.
As millions in the region faced months of COVID-19 lockdown and its severe effects on health and incomes, many depended on SAT-7 as a trusted source of spiritual support and emotional support, companionship, and even health advice.
From the beginning of the pandemic, and even when an explosion in Beirut caused mass destruction and trauma, SAT-7 studios in Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, Cyprus, and the United Kingdom resolved to maintain as much live programming as possible. Our belief is that it is essential to remain alongside our millions of viewers in perplexing and unfamiliar times.
Rita El-Mounayer, SAT-7 CEO, said:
“Almost a quarter of a century ago, God blessed us with the opportunity of using satellite television as a new way of sharing His Word. Throughout the years since, SAT-7 has been a vital lifeline for isolated believers across the Middle East and North Africa, creating educational programs for those unable to access education, and spiritual and Bible-teaching programs to connect viewers in worship.
“The incredible blessing of this year has been to serve the people of the region as they coped with unprecedented challenges.”
As the world continues to grapple with the pandemic, the value of television to connect and support viewers remains at the fore. SAT-7 continues to forge a path ahead in 2021, including the landmark launch of its new video-on-demand service and a new strategy for engaging viewers on social media.
“SAT-7 continues its work to bring the Gospel into more homes,” says El-Mounayer. “To support more families as they welcome Christ into their lives, and give the spiritual encouragement so badly needed in the world today as people stay home and continue to seek resources for education, entertainment, and spiritual fellowship.”
*SAT-7 defines audience engagement as one or more exchanges between a viewer and a SAT-7 audience relations team through phone calls, text messages, or social media platforms, covering one question or topic.