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    Claim:  50% of 700 Club viewers are Under the Age of 34

    Claim:  50% of 700 Club viewers are Under the Age of 34

    More on the state of Christian/Religious television:

    The multiplatform approach has caught on with shows like The Uprising on The Inspiration Network. The show follows a group of professional skateboarders as they preach the Gospel in unlikely settings like skate parks, prisons and schools. “That audience is very multitask-oriented,” says John Roos, the network's senior VP of corporate communications and research. “We're trying to find a way to provide programming that [the youth] market is interested in. We've taken a multimedia approach.”

    Despite the embrace of 21st-century storytelling techniques and a desire even to push the envelope, programmers say the message to young people still comes first. “We are trying to affect and change people's lives,” says TBN Chief of Staff Paul Crouch Jr. “MTV says, 'If you have 32 girlfriends or boyfriends and an Escalade, you're going to be happy,' and we're saying, 'No.' Our programming reflects a more internal focus.”

    But younger people aren't the only ones attracted to interactive programming. Robertson eschews the notion that older viewers aren't multimedia-savvy. “I think you could have said our audience was less active [in interactive media] five years ago, but one of the fastest-growing audiences in terms of social media is women over 50.”

    Religious programmers, many of whom rely on charitable giving, admit to being hit hard by the recession. “We definitely saw a dip in giving,” Crouch says. The network's biannual telethons were down 20%, but Crouch is cautiously optimistic that giving will pick up. “We've already seen things start to head north,” he says. “Not dramatically, but revenue [losses] have definitely bottomed out and things are starting to head back up.”

    “The commercial stations have been hit the hardest, although everyone's had to adjust,” says Craig Parshall, senior VP and general counsel for National Religious Broadcasters, an organization that represents 1,700 broadcasters on TV and radio.

    According to Parshall, the recent Supreme Court ruling that corporations may spend freely to support or oppose federal candidates could help boost ad revenues among religious broadcasters. The decision could reap a $300 million increase for commercial stations in the coming election year, he says. “Is it going to go to our folks?” Parshall asks. “Well, some of it will. There is a trickle-down effect. I think there's going to be a lot of issue-advocacy ads” that Parshall believes could be targeted at Christian or so-called “values” voters.

    In the face of tough financial circumstances, TBN, like other religious networks, is working on ambitious high-definition studio conversions. The network has already gone HD in its production hubs of Los Angeles, Dallas, New York and Nashville, and Crouch says he still plans to get all 36 studios across the country HD-ready within the next five years.

    You can read the whole article here.

    Do YOU really think that half of the 700 Club audience is under 35?  What's your take?  Do you ever watch religious television (other than just for laughs)?  If so, what programs do you enjoy?



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    1. Postscript on Tue, February 09, 2010

      No way 50% is under 35 - unless they’re down to 2 watchers and one is turning 35 next week.

      The audience for Christian television and radio is literally dieing off - probably for the better.

      Not even Joel Osteen’s huge audience is 50% under 35…

    2. Rocco on Tue, February 09, 2010

      No way. I’ve been a christian for 19 years and I have only known of two people who watched that show. And they are both dead of old age now.

    3. CS on Tue, February 09, 2010

      “�We are trying to affect and change people’s lives,� says TBN Chief of Staff Paul Crouch Jr. �MTV says, ‘If you have 32 girlfriends or boyfriends and an Escalade, you’re going to be happy,’ and we’re saying, ‘No.’ Our programming reflects a more internal focus.�”

      Says the man who sits in a gilded chair with people who spout out this prosperity nonsense all the time on PTL.  Talk about hypocritical.


    4. Peter Hamm on Tue, February 09, 2010

      CS, you are so right! LOL!

    5. Christopher Fontenot on Tue, February 09, 2010


      Using the same quote…..I didn’t realize it was the job of a Christian nor their ability to affect and change people’s lives.  I think I read it somewhere that we were to preach the Gospel to all creation for it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 

      God is the ONLY one who can affect or change anyone, but typical of TBN and their false gospel, they believe they have the same power as God.

    6. Ola Bashanda on Wed, February 10, 2010

      For everyone who criticizes messages on prosperity, physical healing and deliverance, I’ve never seen ONE respond with what the Bible ACTUALLY says about finances, healing or deliverance, just a bunch of name-calling and pat dismissals.

      I watch “Uncle Pat” regularly, but take it with a healthy doseage of salt…

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