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EWTN in a Nutshell : Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


EWTN MISSION AND HISTORY


1a. Is EWTN only a Television Network?

No. It is a Catholic Media Network, which consists of Television, Radio, an Internet Service and Publishing.

1b. What is EWTN's Mission?

The Mission statement of EWTN says: "Eternal Word Television Network is dedicated to the advancement of truth as defined by the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. The mission of the Eternal Word Television Network is to serve the orthodox belief and teaching of the Church as proclaimed by the supreme Pontiff and his predecessors."

1c. How did this project begin?

In the early 1960's, Mother Angelica, a cloistered Franciscan Poor Clare nun, fulfilled a promise to our Lord to found a monastery in the non-Catholic southern part of the United States, and the Bishop of Mobile, Alabama, which included the city of Irondale, a suburb of Birmingham, invited her to do so. Once she and her nuns moved to Irondale, the first step in her programme of evangelisation was to write a series of "Mini-Books" on a variety of religious themes. As their popularity grew, the monastery acquired its own printing press to print them and began to distribute them worldwide.

1d. How did this evolve into a Television Network?

The popularity of the Mini-Books led to many requests for speaking engagements by Mother Angelica, which evolved into a series of her talks being taped at a local television station. Eager to bring this message to a much wider audience, the idea of a Catholic television network was born. From the humble beginnings of a small TV studio built at the monastery by six nuns who knew little of the world of technology and communication, EWTN now possesses a state of the art audiovisual complex, which is totally funded by gifts from individuals and groups. Since its inauguration in August 1981 EWTN has grown to become the world's largest religious media network


EWTN STRUCTURE AND OPERATION


2a. Who owns EWTN?

EWTN is an independent charitable organization based in Alabama, USA. It has trustees but does not have shareholders or owners.

2b. How is EWTN financed?

EWTN is donor-based. It is financed entirely by donations from its viewers, listeners, supporters, and benefactors. There are no shares, no invested funds, and EWTN receives no advertising or syndication income. Mother Angelica founded the network relying on Divine Providence, and this mode of operation continues to this day.

2c. Does EWTN charge for its services?

EWTN does not charge for its services. All its satellite signals are "free to air", that is, available at no cost. It offers its programme transmissions free directly to the viewer, as well as to cable operators, broadcast television and radio stations.

2d. How is EWTN staffed?

EWTN has nearly 300 employees. It is headed by Rev. Mr. R. William Steltemeier, Chairman of the Board and Mr. Michael Warsaw, President, along with the Vice Presidents and Directors of the several departments that make up EWTN: Programming and Production, Marketing, Engineering, Viewer Services, Theology, and Communication, which includes Media Services (Press), Creative Services (Art) and OnLine Services (Internet)

2f. Does EWTN have an official status in the Church?

EWTN is an independent operation. It is a member of SIGNIS, which is a worldwide media organisation that operates under the Pontifical Council for Social Communications (Vatican). One of EWTN's Directors is President of the International Group of SIGNIS, one of the seven regional groups of SIGNIS


EWTN'S MEDIA NETWORK


3a. What are the main facts about EWTN's Media Network?

Television and Radio channels, each offering programming 24 hours a day, and an Internet website.

Television:

There are six separate television services ("feeds"), with programming scheduled according to local time zones and some customisation of programmes themselves: (1) United States, (2) Canada, (3) Latin America and Spain (4) Europe, (5) Africa and Indian sub-continent, (6) Asia and the Pacific Rim. The feed to Latin America and Spain is in the Spanish language.

As of mid 2003, approximately 80% of its programming originates from a variety of countries in Latin America as well as from Spain. The remaining 20% of programming is translated from the English language. The feed to Europe contains some programmes in German with English audio translation, as well as some programming, which is translated into Spanish.

Radio:

EWTN's short-wave radio station, WEWN, with its four 500 Kw.transmitters reaches around the world. It offers three separate feeds: one service entirely in Spanish, reaching Latin America and two services in English, with distinct schedules, though the same programming.

The English and Spanish radio services are also transmitted via satellite, so radio stations can receive the satellite signal and retransmit the programming on locally owned AM/FM radio stations. Radio stations can also stream the AM/FM feed on EWTN's web site for terrestrial retransmission.

Web Site:

EWTN's website has more than 7,000,000 page views per month. Among its features is a Catholic "Question and Answer" section, where learned theologians answer e-mailed questions about the Faith. This and the Daily Catholic News are the most frequented mini-sites.

Other services available on EWTN's website include:

Searchable Digital Library of Catholic Documents: One of the largest collections of Catholic documents divided into 39 categories ranging from "Academic" and "Apologetics" to "Youth". Access to more than 6000 documents (including Papal Encyclicals, writings of the Saints and Church Fathers) has proved invaluable for students, seminarians, catechists, and all who wish to explore the Catholic heritage.

Audio Library:

More than 4000 EWTN programmes are available on demand. Live streaming of EWTN's TV and AM/FM signal via Real Video/Audio technology.

3b. What other OnLine Services are provided?

The website home page contains 12 principal categories and these each have several sections. The categories are; Faith; Libraries; Multimedia, General Information, Specialty sites; Espanol (Spanish); Religious Catalogue; News; Television; Radio; EWTN Prime; Pilgrimages.

Examples of some features are:

"Faith" category contains teaching, questions about the Faith, prayers, the Pope’s prayer intentions for the month, devotionals, daily Mass readings and a Bulletin Board for viewers to post information. A variety of Prayer Intention Cards is available for viewers to send to members of their family or friends who need a prayer. Prayer Intentions are placed on the altar before the Blessed Sacrament and are remembered in prayer by the Friars of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word who reside on the EWTN campus.

A children's website, EWTNKids, launched in April 2003. Details of EWTN Kids and all programming for children in each time zone can be found under the "Faith" and "Specialty Sites" tabs.

Books, art, video- tapes and audio CDs as well as crucifixes, rosaries, statues and other religious articles are available for purchase under "Religious Catalogue".

3 c. How many viewers and listeners does EWTN have?

We do not know how many viewers tune in to EWTN. The only way we can answer this is by stating in how many countries EWTN is down linked by cable TV operators, broadcast television stations, and "Direct Broadcast

Satellite" (DBS) which is also referred to as "Direct to Home" (DTH) service. Our Cable TV and DBS/DTH affiliates inform us of their subscriber numbers, so we know the numbers of households, which EWTN reaches. As of Sept 2004, EWTN Television is available in 144 countries to more than 110 million cable and DBS/DTH subscribers. The short wave radio station and satellite delivered AM/FM radio network reach many millions more and this does not count those millions around the world who log on to EWTN's website


PROGRAMMING


4a. What are the various types of programming that EWTN provides?

EWTN provides a rich variety of programming intended for each generation in a Catholic family. EWTN's programming philosophy is in accordance with the teaching of the Magisterium. Principal categories include: Daily Mass and devotions,

Church/Papal Events: extensive live coverage of Papal visits, celebrations and solemnities from the Vatican, including the weekly Papal audience, and major Church events.

Global Catholic news, including summaries from the Vatican, features and interviews. Exploration of the Faith: teaching series and round table discussions series, given and guided by, noted theologians.

Documentaries, Drama, Concerts.

Live call-in Talk Shows.

Children and Young Adults programmes.

4b. Who produces programmes offered on EWTN?

EWTN produces approximately 75% of its programmes. Other programmes, such as documentaries, plays and films, and musical concerts are acquired from producers around the world. All out-of-house productions are screened by the Theology Department of EWTN, to ensure their conformity with the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.

4c. What has been the experience of EWTN's effect on viewers of other Christian denominations and non-Christian faiths?

The correspondence, which EWTN receives from members of traditional mainstream Protestant churches, is most gratifying. These viewers appreciate that, while EWTN is intended for Catholic families, it offers programming, which is profound in both its solid theology and cultural content, and wide in its variety.

Letters and emails received from viewers of non-Christian faiths show they are satisfied with the way in which EWTN portrays the Catholic faith, which helps them understand the tenets of the teachings of the Catholic Church. The depth of resources for research, which are available on EWTN's web site, has also caused favourable comment.


RECEPTION AND PROMOTION OF EWTN


5a. How can I receive EWTN in my country?

In those countries where cable TV exists, verify with your local operator to see if the channel's line-up includes EWTN on a dedicated channel. If EWTN is not included, operators will consider possible inclusion if they receive sufficient numbers of potential viewers petitioning for EWTN's inclusion. (Inclusion of EWTN will l not normally incur any cost for the operator unless the operator is not receiving programming from other networks on the same satellite.) Cable TV operators often include EWTN's 24 hour programming in their basic programme level, which carries the lowest monthly charge to the subscriber.

In some regions one can choose to subscribe to "Direct to Home" services (DTH) and receive a "multi -channel package" by means of a small dish instead of cable. Petition campaigns from supporters have lead to EWTN's inclusion on an increasing number of such DTH systems.

Because EWTN's satellite signals are free to-air, it is possible to receive EWTN programming directly from the satellite transmitting to the viewer's area, without subscription to a local multi-channel (Cable or DTH) AM/FM radio stations should also be approached to see if they would consider including EWTN programming either direct from the satellite or via CD, in their schedule. Some radio affiliates have requested EWTN to send them transcripts of some of EWTN's programmes. These stations find that programming material using local voices and intonation is preferred by many of their listeners. EWTNews audio updates are e-mailed as an audio file to many EWTN radio affiliates who request them, on a daily basis. These are included in the radio station's programming on the following day.

5b. What needs to be done to receive EWTN directly... is it expensive?

Those wishing to receive EWTN personally in their homes on a 24-hour basis directly from the satellite at no monthly cost, can do so by purchasing the required satellite equipment- dish and receiver- from a local distributor, who can also arrange installation. Technical details of EWTN's transponder on the satellite for a given area can be found on EWTN's website under the "Television" section. With the rapid growth of f satellite television so have the numbers of equipment suppliers increased and prices have lowered considerably. EWTN does not benefit from the installation of the satellite equipment, which can be purchased from most satellite dealers.

5c. What equipment is necessary?

In Europe EWTN's signal is on Ku-Band, which requires a dish of at most 80-cm. in diameter. In other areas, e.g. Africa, India, Pacific Rim, EWTN's signal is carried on "C-Band", This requires a satellite dish, ranging between 2.4m-4m in diameter depending on the recipient country and satellite location (check with EWTN Regional Marketing Manager or EWTN's Engineering Department)

The dish will need to be equipped with a LNB (Low Noise Blocker) of below 45 Kelvin. A receiver (Mpeg2 classification) to decompress the signal will also be required. On some satellites where EWTN is located, this receiver can be supplied in the form of a "set-top" box.

5d. What does installing EWTN involve?

The dish can be installed on the back of a house roof or even sometimes in the garden, as long as there is line of sight to the satellite. The dish may also be painted to blend in with the background as long as the paint used is non-metallic. A normal installation takes one to two hours.

5e. What are the costs to receive EWTN Television?

All TV programming down linked directly from the satellite using C-Band equipment is free, so there are no monthly charges after installation.

5f. Does one need a TV licence to receive EWTN?

TV Licensing and possible fees vary from country to country. In most countries installation of a satellite dish and receiver does not incur any TV licensing fees, however you may wish to consult your local council.

5g. How does one find out the Programme Schedule of EWTN in a given region?

To find the schedule of EWTN's programmes in a specific region, one can obtain the programme details by selecting the "Television" tab on the EWTN's website Home Page.

Most programme schedules for a given region show a city as a local reference time zone, (the exception to this is satellite PAS 10 where GMT and IST are listed). A downloadable schedule will allow the viewer to amend the stated time zone and insert another if so desired (e.g. on PAS 8 schedule a viewer from South Australia could amend the Sydney time and insert local time

Residents of Western Australia are advised that a much better reception is available from PAS 10. Perth time is 8 hours ahead of GMT.


DONATIONS


EWTN, as mentioned in Question 2b, is funded entirely by donations, mainly from supporters in the USA but increasingly from Catholic supporters around the world who have come to consider EWTN as their channel. As EWTN's global reach and programming requirements continue to expand and diversify, so too do its related costs and the network's monthly operating expenses are substantial. Donations, however modest, become a vital link to allow the Eternal Word to be spread from country to country.

6a. How can I make a donation to help EWTN spread the Eternal Word?

Should you wish to make a donation, you may do so either by:International Money Order

Which should be sent to:

Eternal Word Television Network
5817 Old Leeds Rd.,
Irondale, AL 35210
USA

OR:

You can donate to Rosary Christian Tutorial Association to help rebroadcast EWTN to Queensland Free-to-Air Television Viewers

This is a direct means of evangelisation, as many viewers of Channel 31 are not of the Catholic Faith

How to donate to RCTA?

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RCTA Relationship


The Rosary Christian Tutorial Association has had a decade long relationship with EWTN since we first broadcasted EWTN on community TV on the
Feast of Corpus Christi - June 26th 2000

RCTA has also helped established a Perth Branch which performs similar work RCTA Perth also broadcasts EWTN on Perth Radio and Television.

P.O. Box 1270
Booragoon WA 6954
Phone: (08) 9330 2467