CTND flips the switch

Beginning in Advent, Detroit’s Catholic TV station will air content from Boston-based CatholicTV instead of EWTN

Detroit — CTND, the Archdiocese of Detroit’s Catholic cable TV channel will switch its network affiliation as of Nov. 27, the first Sunday of Advent.

The cable channel will then begin carrying the programming of CatholicTV, the television service of the Archdiocese of Boston, in addition to reruns of locally produced programs along with those from regional and national program providers.

The station has been filling most of its schedule with the programming of the Eternal Word Television Network, based in Irondale, Ala. EWTN will continue to be available on its own channel on most area cable systems.

“When EWTN first launched its television network in 1987, CTND served as its exclusive affiliate in the Detroit-area cable TV market,” said Ned McGrath, director of communications for the archdiocese, who has overseen CTND for the past two decades.

McGrath said the relationship served CTND very well, allowing the station to operate 24 hours a day.

But as cable TV systems adopted new technology that has permitted them to offer hundreds of channels, most also offered a channel dedicated exclusively to EWTN.

“This reality gives us the chance to try something new and different for our CTND viewers,” McGrath said.

“Over the past decade or so, we’ve carried a few hours of CTV’s programs every week.  Going forward, we’ll broadcast their award-winning informational and devotional programming seven days a week,” he continued.

McGrath also praised CTV’s online presence, at www.catholictv.com, as “robust and dynamic.”

“They have an app for smartphones. Our digital media staff is anticipating the opportunities and synergies that can now develop between and among CTV and our archdiocesan media resources — CTND,  AODonline.org,  The Michigan Catholic newspaper and www.themichigancatholic.com.”

CTV President Fr. Robert Reed said, “What a great way to begin the season of Advent and a new Church year by inaugurating this new partnership between CTND and the CatholicTV Network! I am personally thrilled to be able to share our daily schedule of fine Catholic programming with the people of the great Archdiocese of Detroit.” 

Fr. Reed expressed his gratitude to Archbishop Allen Vigneron and to McGrath for being open to the collaboration. 

“In our digital multi-media society, television remains a powerful force for proclaiming the Gospel. It is my sincere hope that our interesting mix of spiritual, educational and entertaining programming from all over the nation will be a source of comfort and strength as well as a force for evangelization for the Church of Detroit,” he added.

The Boston-based CTV already is carried by cable TV channels in several other dioceses inNorth America. With the addition of the approximately 900,000 households that have access to CTND, CTV will have a potential audience of more than 9 million households.

Several shows produced by CTV have proven popular in recent years, including “Wow,” a Catholic-themed gameshow for kids and the “FaithBowl,” an annual talk show in which professional athletes address questions about faith life. Like EWTN, the network also hosts Masses regularly — including those from the Basilica at the University of Notre Dame — and classic series such as Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen’s “Life is Worth Living.”

McGrath emphasized that the decision for CTND to pick up CTV content was based on offering a net increase in the Catholic programming available to the local viewing public.

“I know I speak for many when I offer our heartfelt thanks and respect for EWTN and the great services they have provided to our CTND viewers for over two decades,” he said.