Network TV Programming
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About the Commission
Interfaith Broadcasting Commission
The National Council of Churches is a founding partner of the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission (IBC), through which America's faith communities provide television programming to the affiliates of the three major broadcast TV networks each year. IBC participants currently include:
Other groups participating in the IBC at various times during its three-decade history include the Southern Baptist Convention Broadcast Group, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
Through IBC, the Communication Commission offers its member faith groups the unique opportunity to help produce a dozen documentaries and several liturgical programs that are channeled through this long-standing television partnership.
In addition, the three networks schedule several hours of network time each year for Easter, Christmas, High Holy Days, and other seasonal worship programs, produced in rotation by IBC member groups. For a schedule of recent seasonal worship specials, click here.
Each network distributes IBC productions to all of its affiliates by satellite. Each local station may then choose to present the program in a time slot of its choice over a several-week span of time. The faith groups are not charged for air time. IBC programs may also be carried on a station's digital sub-channels in addition to its primary broadcast channel.
All members of the Communication Commission are eligible to bid for the chance to produce one of the NCC's programming slots each year. On occasion, two or more denominations will join forces to produce an NCC-sponsored program for network showing. /font>
National Council of Churches is one of the founding members of the National Interfaith Cable Coalition (NICC), which began in 1987 as a cable television programming consortium and now includes more than 100 individuals, faith groups, and production companies, including NCC and dozens of NCC-related professionals. In 1988 NICC founded the VISN cable network, which merged four years later with the Southern Baptist-sponsored ACTS channel and became the Faith and Values Channel and later the Odyssey network.
In 2000, Odyssey's cable property was sold and became the Hallmark Channel. The NICC coalition (by then known as Faith and Values Media) retained until 2007 a Sunday morning programming block on Hallmark for productions by its member faith groups.
Today, NICC is known as Odyssey Networks, and serves as a media production, distribution and promotion agency working to place faith-based programming on a variety of media. It operates a mobile-device video application, Call on Faith, offering devotionals and informational short-form programs.