“Cable Station Changes Name,” Ensign, Jan. 1997, 78
The Faith & Values Channel, a cable television network that carries several Church programs and specials, has changed its name to the Odyssey Channel.
The network, which is formed by the National Interfaith Cable Coalition, of which the Church is a charter member, is carried on some 1,500 cable systems and a satellite service and reaches 265 million households.
The name change is designed to ensure the continued growth of the channel by making it attractive to the broadest audience possible while maintaining its core audience, explained Garry E. Hill, Odyssey president and chief executive officer.
“The planned changes should enhance the channel’s long-standing commitment to bring viewers the most diverse range of religious, faith- and values-based programs on television,” Mr. Hill said. “We believe that the new name, Odyssey, and the new tag line, Exploring Life’s Journey, better convey the breadth of our program offerings and better meet the ever-increasing demands for programming that both inspires and entertains.”
Among the values-based programs on Odyssey are Church-produced programs, which include Center Street, a show focusing on teenagers; Family Times, a television magazine program for today’s families; Music and the Spoken Word, the weekly Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcasts; and LDS Worship Service, a series of programs portraying sacrament meetings in a 30-minute format.
In addition, the channel has aired several Church television specials, including “A Prophet Remembered,” “Tyler, a Real Hero,” Tabernacle Choir specials from Israel and Russia, and “An Easter Dream.” Past programming has also included broadcasts of BYU devotionals, a series called Families are Forever, and selected addresses from the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
“The Church’s participation in the Odyssey Channel provides an opportunity to promote the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ in a variety of ways,” said Arnold R. Augustin, media relations director for the Church’s Public Affairs Department. “It’s also a vehicle to promote wholesome family-oriented programming that reaches millions of households in the United States at a time when the nation so desperately needs positive, uplifting programs.”
Odyssey was first launched in 1988 under the name VISN, standing for Vision Interfaith Satellite Network. The Church was among the original 12 charter members of the network, which was created to provide uplifting television viewing for people of all faiths nationwide. In 1992 the American Christian Television System (ACTS) joined the network, resulting in the creation of the VISN/ACTS Channel. Confusion of viewers led to a name change to the Faith & Values Channel in 1993. Today, 64 religious groups participate in the network.