Sky Angel Moves to IPTV Platform

I saw Sky Angel is moving to the online world (completely), so I asked President Kathy Johnson about her strategic vision for the move to IPTV. She referred me to Nancy Christopher, Sky Angel's VP for Corporate Communication. Nancy told me:

"Yes, we will be transitioning Sky Angel to a broadband Internet protocol called Internet Protocol Television (IPTV). It’s a proven technology that’s widely used in Europe and Asia and gaining popularity in the U.S. We already deliver our service into Canada using this technology.

IPTV provides viewers value-added services and conveniences such as the ability to set up their own equipment (no outside dish or antenna or professionally installed equipment needed), to retrieve programs that have already aired, much like a personal video recorder, and to utilize Video on Demand. IPTV enables programs to be viewed on conventional TVs, personal computers and handheld instruments, which will provide viewers the benefit of receiving programs at home and on the go. Enhanced programming, additional channels and more choices of programming packages for individual subscribers are other features afforded by IPTV.

As our satellite continues to age, it has become increasingly evident that Sky Angel must embrace new cost-effective technology opportunities that will enable us to further our mission to deliver the Gospel around the world. Further, we believe that our subscribers will truly enjoy the interactive programming and other benefits resulting from the convergence of Internet and television.

The transition to IPTV in the U.S. will occur over the next year, and more information will be provided about the transition during the coming months.

It's interesting to note that Sky Angel led the way in exploring and then utilizing another cutting-edge technology known as direct broadcast satellite (DBS) when DBS was in its infancy back in the 1980's. Sky Angel was actually the second company to apply to the FCC for a DBS license back in 1981 when DBS was actually untested technology. Back then, frequency spectrum and orbital slots were yet to be assigned, and there was no satellite manufacturer with a high-power DBS satellite design; the DBS technology was widely opposed by television station and cable industry trade groups back then. Of course, DBS came into its own during the '90's. In 1999, Sky Angel became the sole surviving DBS pioneer from that first round of nine 1981 DBS licensees when USSB merged with DirecTV (DISH and DirecTV acquired their licenses later). Now, once again, Sky Angel is excited about being at the forefront in utilizing cutting-edge technology, yet, proven technology, in the way we deliver our Christian and family programming service."

This entry was posted on Monday, June 18th, 2007 at 11:34 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

  • Sheryl Warren

    There are several issues that kathy and nancy are avoiding.  One is that they sold LIFETIME subscriptions which were supposed to be for the LIFETIME of the SUBSCRIBER and the SATELLITE.  TWO the satellite is still functioning  3 they were supposed to replace the satellite in the year  2000 and neglected to do so!  4-they issue press releases but have NOT notified subscribers  6- this change renders current subscriber equipment USELESS 7-IPTV requires HIGH SPEED internet access as well as the purchase of all new equipment, 8- INCREASED monthly cost  7- won't transfer lifetime subs to IPTV  8- IPTV partner has a very strong affiliation with PORN

  • Ed Taylor

    An untold number of us bought into Robert Johnson, Sr.'s vision to build and operate a global direct broadcast satellite system, using Sky Angel's own satellites, as the most effective means of assuring that the Gospel will penetrate every nation, culture and people – even the most unreachable regions of the world. The IPTV scheme seemingly pushes this vision aside as I can't imagine interactive IPTV in the most unreachable parts of the world . . . or in remote areas of the US for that matter.

    When I received my permanent Sky Angel Sponsor Number Robert Johnson expressed his thanks that I had become a Dominion sponsor and welcomed me into a growing family. Somehow with the present turn of events I don't feel that family atmosphere anymore. Those presently in control seem happy to keep me in the dark as to what is going on, and thus are carefully avoiding alluding to my permanent sponsor status.

  • Anonymous

    I work in media and am interested in hearing from a lifetime subscriber to Sky Angel who will not be able to afford to transition to IPTV. 

    Please contact me at: stagecoachjoe@yahoo.com

    Thanks much!

  • J. Wisner

    There is another thing that bothers me GREATLY.  How can they say this is going to help spread the Gospel?  The only ones who will get their "message" will be the ones interested enough and well off enough to pay the fees to receive SkyAngel IPTV.  That limits spreading the Gospel through SkyAngel to Christians with extra disposable income.  How is that spreading the Gospel?  Can you imagine Paul selling pricey tickets to the Corinthians?  His audience would have been limited to those traveling with him.

  • Elizabeth Conley

    What makes me nervous about Sky Angel is the possibility that a large block of affluent American Christians might be insulated from contrasting ideas and opinions that would help them examine their views critically.

    There's evidence to suggest these people are pretty well insulated from intellectual discomfort already, but I'd hate to see it get worse. 

     

  • Bart Breen

    That's an excellent observation, IMHO Elizabeth.

  • james smith

    I recommend contacting your attorney general about Skyangel maybe they can do something,I think if enough people complain to there attorney generals we may see them forced to do something, also word of mouth to other christians how skyangel operates will hurt there new subscribers subsciptions,also pray for the leadship of the company,you can not serve both God and Money, we may lose a subsciption ,but the leadership of that company will lose much more then that,respect,character,honor,do the right thing at all cost, my final statement brothers in the Lord "forgive them and move on if they do not listen"

  • George3

    I just ordered the new Skyangel IPTV service and received an email stating that they were in a test phase and would be notified when my order would process. I was curious to find out about this comapany/service and ran into this blog during my search. I must say that I am concerned and disappointed at what I have read so far. I understand the need for change and the loss of the DISH agreement, but I agree with most that the choice to not honor the lifetime subscription is morally incorrect. I  found out about this service recently through an EWTN radio program and was excited to get it. Now I am having second thoughts about it. I agree that we need to pray for the leadership of this company. If its God's will to spread his word through this medium then let it be done, if its not, our prayers are with all those who genuinely serve to spread the word through his love and not personal or financial gain.

  • Sheryl Warren

    Before you subscribe to IPTV, make sure you are aware that sky angel cancelled IPTV in CANADA, less than a year after starting.  No warning, no explanation to its subscribers!  In fact they continued to debit bank account after they shut down IPTV. 

     

    They SAY its because they discovered shiftv was broadcasting porn.  they knew about that for MONTHS before shutting down! 

     

    there are a few other sites with info/complaints, go to the skyangel forums

    http://www.dbstalk.com

     

    http://www.satelliteguys.us 

  • dlemore

    I would like to thank all of you who have  taken the time to give your opinion of Skyangel. After reading Skyangel's contractral agreement, along with your comments, I can certainly understand why this new IPTV service will have a problem getting off the ground. I do not agree with their slick lawyers teminology nor their business practice and will do everything I can(including prayer)to sway new customers(hope you do the same) in another direction (including my decision to opt out as a new customer.) Those of you who were given a lifetime subscription should have been given at least a discount on IPTV service.

  • Kenneth Heffernan

    You are misrepresenting the facts.  (1) The lifetime subscriptions were for the lifetime of the subscriber or the lifetime of the satellite service – whichever ends first., (2) The satellite service is ending because the useful life of the satellite is ending – you can read about the E-III satellite all over the Internet it was launched many years ago and is about ready to go kaput. that's why DISH is putting up a new satellite to replace it. Do you think Sky Angel made that up?, (3) Sky Angel can't afford to put a satellite up on it's own – there's not enough of a market for the niche programming to sustain it. And why should they start a new service with yesterdays inefficient, expensive technology when they can use IPTV – a proven, cost-effective technology that is used widely in asia and Europe?, (4) High-speed Internet reaches over 60% of the USA and not everyone can put up a satellite dish either – why should they discriminate against consumers in high-rise apartments that have high-speed just so they can continue to serve sat customers that live in rural areas. (5) The price is exactly the same ($14.99) and you get twice as many channels plus many more features. (6) The set top box is free – when you purchased the satellite system it cost $149.00. (7) They are accepting orders from Lifetime customers – I'm one of them and I am grateful for the subscription and programming.  The useful life of the satellite is over.  As a rational person I can accept that and am willing to pay for a subscription to this great service. (8) Their technical partner – Neulion – has no affiliation with pornograohy or pornographers.  Do your homework before you post and stop spreading lies about this good Christian company.

  • Mark McDonald

    Wow!  Where do you get these ideas? Do you just make it all up?  Sky Angel was never in business in Canada.  They did give rights to a startup Canadian IPTV company, (ShifTV), to redistribute their programming last year.  It's a matter of public record that ShifTV's IPO failed and ShifTV was sold to another company that aired pornography (ITVN-Broadshift TV).  Broadshift contacted Sky Angel and terminated the contract they had with ShiftTV. Sky Angel could not have billed or written to anybody in Canada – because they never had customer information in the first place – they just provided the programming to ShifTV.  I was a customer of this service and never dealt with anyone from Sky Angel.  It was a terrible shame what happened but none of it was the fault of Sky Angel.  I hope this sets the record straight.  

  • Rob

     

    I've had Sky Angel for ten years, it has been a blessing and well worth the lifetime subscription I paid for, sorry to lose it but I got my moneys worth.

     

    I am buying a KU band satellite system also called FTA (free to air) nearly all of Sky Angels channels plus much more is up in the sky for FREE and always has been.

     Do a search on free to air satellite systems and your eyes will be opened, they are about the same size of a Dish Network dish, the only difference is they are motorized and move occasionally, you can get one for a couple hundred bucks and never pay a dime for Christian programming again.

     

  • walter

    Yes the Good News is there are alternatives to the IPTV and I would advise every lifetime member to bail on a company that is using lame excuses and lawyers to make money; and moving in a secular direction. 

    I also noticed the fine print on the "great new IPTV service" (prices subject to change without notice)

    An old saying applies, "Fool me once shame on you, Fool me twice, shame on me"!!!

     

     

  • Phil

    The truth is, the blog is filling up and we have to close off the discussion thread. Some people are going to choose to be angry and bitter because they think Sky Angel owes them – even though there’s no evidence of that. Others are thrilled the gospel can continue to be broadcast through new technology. Life happens. My car breaks down, my plumbing goes out, and my TV breaks. But I don’t blame people – that’s the way life works. Ultimately you can choose to be bitter and let that anger eat at you, or you can choose to explore new technology, find alternatives, or adjust your lifestyle to the new reality. Whatever you choose, I hope you enjoy it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ron.barchfeld.5 Ron Barchfeld

    I would not pay them one red cent for Sky Angel IP. If They cant keep their agreement with all the lifetime subs they dont need to be in business. I see a class action law suit in the future. I am glad I am a dish network subcriber I enjoy some of the channels they had on skyangel. they are on the 110 dish net sat. I know angel1*, angel2, KTV, INSP, CTN. * (119 sat) But God is in control and all will have to answer to him now and later. there are many free apps on the IPAD and other tablets, which is the future of all programming the Cable companies dont want to amit. It would be to their best interest to provide the bandwith and not worry about losing customers because they can play a big part in the new ways of providing programming. If you still want free sat programming there are many options out there just google and find the best one that meets your needs. By all means dont stay angry with the orginal owners of SKY ANGEL because the economy and other expenses may have played a part in them shutting down the other satelite’s programming.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ron.barchfeld.5 Ron Barchfeld

      all contracts can be made null and void but what kind of wittness is it to the world, just leave it in Gods Hands and he will reward you for letting him handle this issue.

  • Matt A

    Kathy Johnson is not the President of Sky Angel.  Rob Johnson Junior is the president.  Kathy is the president of Sky Angel Productions.  A small shoot off company that makes programming content.

  • Phil

    Thanks for the clarification!

  • brad

    I am a life long subscriber of skyangel. and this was for the life of the dbs operating system. it is getting weak and it is better to do something now instead of waiting till it die's and  we get up one day to find out oh the dbs system is dead now we do not know what we are going to do. i agree it is sad that some will not be able to get it because either they can not get high speed internet in there area or they can not affored it but skyangel had to so something. i plan to go along with skyangel that is if they do not make me pre pay something i do not mind doing month to month but pre paying i could not do i am on a fixed income and must watch every penny.

  • Adam S

    Hi Everyone, just thought I would pass on that IPTV is now available.  Go to http://www.OrderSkyAngel.com and you can get it there.  No upfront costs at this time as they are giving the box away with the commitment

  • Janice Wisner

    I feel ripped off.  I've only had my lifetime subscription for 4 years and I got others to join too.  Now I'm being cast aside with nothing even though I praised them to multitudes and helped build up their company.  I don't even get a discount for being a lifetime subscriber for the new system that I can't get anyway, because high speed internet isn't available in my area.  They have had several issues come up since the death of Robert Johnson Sr. and I don't believe they've handled these issues in a Christian manner.  Now it looks like they are trying to get out of their financial committments.  They got worldly advice how to get out of their financial committments without the possibility of legal action against them by changing the name of their business.  Legal, but disgusting!

  • Walter J.

    Last week my 8-track player broke.  When I bought it the back in '73 the salesman told me it would give me a lifetime of pleasure.  I went to Best Buy and they told me that I needed to by an mp3 player. I feel cast aside by the company that manufactured ny 8-track player and and think they should pay for me to get an mp3 player and when that breaks they should pay for me to get the newest portable audio player until I die.  I want to take legal action.  Does anybody see how ridiculous this position is?

  • Michele F

    I agree with Janice Wisner, I also would have to pay an amount that I can't afford to get high speed in my area, around 60 dollars a month. On top of that I would have to pay 15-25 dollars for the new  IPTV charge.I was in tears on the phone with Sky Angel today becauseI knew we wouldn't be able to have the service any longer and I feel cheated. I can't believe we aren't even getting a break for being "lifetime" members.  It was for the lifetime of the company and they are still operating under the name of Sky Angel,  they have just found a way to legally dump their commitments to the people who provided the up front money to get this thing going. I would never have given any other satellite company that much money up front. I believed in the vision. Sadly that vision is gone with Mr. Johnson.

    I wrote a letter a few years ago to Mr.Johnson aksing him to bring back a favorite program that my kids and my dad gathered around and enjoyed everyday. He actually called me!  He took this matter seriously and the show was put back on the air! I think Mr. Johnson was genuine in what he was trying to do, but the vision now seems to be making a profitable business and competing with the other companies.

  • bell J.

     Honey, You are right. I paid for lifetime also. If they are christians they would have done this better than they have. They are asking for more money. Some people can't afford this. This is not right. Something more should have been done about this. They ask the lifetime people for more money for hallmark. We gave them that . Now look at this something else. That's not right. This is not beginning to be a christian broadcasting station. It's looking like dish network and direct tv on the internet.

  • Brian Faison

    (Copy of my statement on petition to Sky Angel )

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/44/petition-for-sky-angel-to-honor-lifetime-subscribers

    Integrity is a thing of the past with Sky Angel.  As a Pastor, I am personally offended by statements in the letter that suggest it is God’s will to just dissolve the old company and start a new one, and abandon all the lifetime sponsors who in effect, were there for Sky Angel when it needed God’s people to help start this Christian business which ministers to people..  It may be legal, but I believe it is neither Morally ethical nor the right thing to do.  It is just plain wrong.

     

    I am equally appalled that after the recent actions by the leadership of Sky Angel, the following “Statement of Faith” still remains on the web site

    The Bible is the inspired and only infallible and authoritative written Word of God.

    There is one God, eternally existent in three persons; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

    In the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, in His personal future return to this earth in power and glory.

    In the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a holy and victorious life.

    The only means of being cleansed of sin and receiving the free gift of eternal life is through repentance and faith in the precious shed blood of Jesus Christ and accepting Him as Personal Saviour and Lord.”

     

    If Sky Angel believes this, then honor those who have honored God concerning Sky Angel.

     

    The Mr. Robert W. Johnson would be embarrassed and ashamed of this whole situation.  The current leaders of Sky Angel should be.

  • Patrick Boren

    I am grieved that as a lifetime subscriber I am being dumped even though the broadcast continues just through a different medium.  It is not right or just to dissolve this agreement in such a manner.  I'm sure the prayer was less and the discussion with worldly counselors weighed heavier in this ungodly decision.

    A good faith decision would have compromised.  Certainly I understand the cost of the set-top box should be re-coup'd, however the lifetime subscription to the current satellite channels should have been moved to IPTV for all life time subscribers.

    Pray again, this time ask Jesus.  If so many of us believers are so troubled, it appears that you have not consulted your brethren, but rather the world.  Repent, and do the first works.

    Regards,

     

    Patrick Boren