Did you watch the coverage of the Papal visit to Mexico? NET TV’s coverage included 3 teams on location in Mexico and at the US border – impressive. Did you know that NET’s roots began as one of the 4 CTN channels? CTN’s mission has always been to educate, but we did not stop at the K-12 audience.
From the very beginning, adult education was an important component of CTN. The importance was clear in Bishop McEntegart’s remarks at the dedication of the TV center. “ … We see this moment as the beginning of a new age in the field of adult education. The horizons, the vistas that open before us are unfathomable today. “ And indeed, a 24/7 Catholic presence into homes was a vision realized two decades later.
During the first 5 years, CTN programs served the audience of Family Life Bureau, Social Action Department of Catholic Charities, The Propagation of the Faith, the NYPD and the District Attorney of Queens. In later years, thousands of adults completed their GED via evening instructions or participated in a diocesan wide retreat, broadcast in multiple languages simultaneously. It’s hard to remember a time when Cable was not the prevalent mode of watching TV. But, it wasn’t until the late 80’s that NYC was awarded Cable Franchises (5 at the start). As soon as Cable was on the horizon, negotiations began to secure a Diocesan channel for evangelization into homes. During the planning process, it was the parents of our school children who were surveyed about what they would want in a ‘home’ channel. March 1988 was the start of The Prayer Channel, which in 2008 was reimagined into New Evangelization Television – NET. CTN Channel 3 became the conduit for sending the signal to Cable companies – with Channels 8, 10 and 12 reserved for schools.
Like present CTN services, NET now takes advantage of digital technologies, in this case using fiber cable to get to carriers, which now include Verizon Fios. Through this reach, adult education is available to millions of subscribers.
From little acorns, mighty oaks arise.
Did You Know: CTN has been fertile ground for various new ventures. In 1969, the CTN TV system was used by IBM to test a system for facsimile transmission.