Religious broadcaster Trinity Broadcasting Network said it is launching, on June 1, a new over-the-air English-language channel, TBN Salsa, targeting U.S. "next-generation" Latinos who might not be fluent in Spanish. The new network will feature contemporary Christian worship and music from popular Latino singers and groups; church and ministry programming with Hispanic pastors and Christian leaders from the United States and Latin America; talk shows; Latino-themed documentaries, sports shows, family-friendly movies and broadcast specials, TBN said.
TBN owns high-powered TV stations in 38 markets, including Los Angeles; New York City; Miami, Fla; Atlanta; Dallas and Phoenix. They are currently used to digitally broadcast five networks: TBN; TBN Enlace USA (a Spanish-language network); The Church Channel; Juice TV (aimed at youths) and Smile of a Child (kids). TBN officials said Juice TV and Smile of a Child will be combined to create an opening for TBN Salsa.
“With over 53 million Latinos living in the U.S., Hispanics compose the nation's largest ethnic minority,” TBN vice president Matthew Crouch said in a release. “Many of these individuals and families have been regular viewers of TBN's Spanish-language affiliate network Enlace. But as the number of Hispanics in the nation continues to increase, fewer 'next-generation' Latinos are using Spanish regularly. It's for this significant demographic that we have launched TBN Salsa.”
TBN said U.S. Census studies predict that by 2020 35%-40% of U.S. Hispanics will not be fluent in Spanish. It also cited a 2012 Pew Research report found that increasingly English is becoming the dominant language among a majority of next-generation Hispanics for most everyday activities, including watching television.
“One thing we know is that Hispanic communities across America have a deep commitment to their culture, with its strong emphasis on family and faith,” Crouch said in the release. “We're taking the unique warmth and passion of that culture and faith community, and bringing it to the large Hispanic audience that may not be fluent in Spanish.”