Inspiration Launches Broadband Channel

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The Inspiration Networks is adding what it bills as an on-demand Internet TV Channel to its flock of linear cable networks (Inspiration owns four separate network available in over 80 million homes worldwide).

The Charlotte, N.C.-based programmer plans to announce the new site--inspiration.net--Wednesday, saying it is meant to be complementary service to its cable nets.

The Intenret channel, which will get heavy promotion on the linear nets, is meant to take advantage of the broadband rollout that is a top priority for the government. It will feature lifestyle content--fishing, hunting, gardening, sports, music--all with an inspirational focus.

Inspiration has been an outspoken critic of an a la carte cable regime. While some religious broadcasters have pushed for such a scheme to combat cable indecency and give viewers more control over their lineups, Inspiration is concerned that it and other channels could lose viewers in an unbundled regime.

Inspiration Networks has pitched broadband as one way to give viewers more control without government interference. But Inspiration COO Bill Airy says the new broadband channel is not a change in policy. “We are passionate believers in the importance of the new broadband technology," he said in announcing the new service. "However, we envision an ongoing partnership between the old and new media. In fact, we see these technologies as being complementary,” he says.

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