Two faith-based TV networks announced on Tuesday a partnership that will combine their audience to over 40 million homes.
Canadian TV network Crossroads/CTS and U.S.-based ComStar are proud to expand their programming by giving each other exclusive rights to their respective media libraries. The agreement also opens the door for future co-productions between both companies.
ComStar Chairman Dr. Robert A. Schuller, former pastor of the Crystal Cathedral, commented, "This exciting new partnership between ComStar and Crossroads/CTS will allow us to extend our reach by offering our award winning media library to the largest Christian Broadcaster in Canada. Mr. Simmonds and I share the vision for the future of Christian television programming, which includes a more sustainable economic model. We're thrilled to take part in the next generation of television."
CEO Chris Wyatt, meanwhile, told The Christian Post, "What we saw is that CTS is truly a leader and is the most innovative Christian broadcaster that we found so it was a natural partnership for us."
He added that ComStar also plans on partnering with other Christian publishers. "We see ourselves with the likes of one of the largest publishers to be able to bring their product into the fold as well," he said.
The idea for the expansion became evident to ComStar after recognizing that both broadcast media pioneers share the same vision and ideologies to produce and distribute quality programs whose contents are known for their faith and family value.
"We started discussing the partnership back in the summer and it quickly became very important for us and we just consummated it," Wyatt, former CEO and co-founder of Godtube.com, explained. "A deal this large to move so fast certainly goes to both of our ideologies."
On the same note, the chairman and CEO of Crossroads/CTS, Don Simmonds, stated that "Most importantly, the people behind ComStar believe in our vision to communicate a relevant message of Christian faith and values to North Americans of all ages, along their whole faith journey; using multiple technology platforms."
Wyatt emphasized that the partnership will also help both companies financially, especially now that donations have declined.
"One of the things that we see right now is [with] donations down by 40 percent, ministries have to cut back," he said. "Certainly, we wish there was more ability for the public to donate. By positioning ourselves in a commercial for profit, we see creating a dimension of new genres of programming that will really help offset those donations. What we see ourselves doing is creating the future of Christian television programming here in the United States and Canada."
Wyatt and Schuller teamed up in 2009 to create a family-values network and tap into an underserved market. ComStar Media is currently the operator of two television networks – Family Net and American Life.