Southern Cross Austereo network in Regional Australia is about to add a new 24/7 religious channel, SonLife Broadcasting.
Set to replace the former YesShop datacasting channel from Monday, SBN is a product of American televangelist Jimmy Swaggart.
NZ-owned shopping channel YesShop collapsed earlier this year but Southern Cross Austereo appears to have found a new buyer for the ‘airwaves.’
On his Facebook page, 82 year old Swaggart told his followers his Ministries had recently signed deals in ‘Sao Paulo and Rio de Jainero (sic).’
“As well, Monday we will launch all over the great country of Australia on free-to-air Television, which was an absolute miracle from the Lord to be able to acquire these channels,” he wrote.
“I said all of that to say this, we need your help to raise the $4.5 million airtime budget this month. Our mission is to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Message of the Cross, but how can we do that ‘lest we be sent’ (Romans 10:15). I am asking each and every one of our Facebook followers to do your very best this month and help us to continue to touch the world for Christ.”
But Swaggart’s rise to glory is not without controversy. In 1988, he was implicated in a sex scandal involving a prostitute that resulted initially in his defrocking by the Assemblies of God. In 1991, he was found in the company of a prostitute for a second time. Rather than confessing to his congregation, Swaggart told those at Family Worship Center that “The Lord told me it’s flat none of your business.” He later stood down for “a time of healing and counseling.”
Monday July 17
Victoria Channel 55:
Albury, Ballarat, Bendigo, Gippsland, Shepparton, Excludes Melbourne
New South Wales Channel 55:
Canberra, Wollongong, Orange/Dubbo/Wagga, Excludes Sydney
Queensland Channel 55:
Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Maryborough, Toowoomba, Excludes Brisbane
Darwin Channel 74:
Spencer Gulf Channel 54:
Port Pirie, Whyalla, Port Augusta, Port Lincoln and Broken Hill, Excludes Adelaide
Tasmania Channel 64:
Southern Cross Austereo was recently granted relief as part of the government’s $127 million offer to suspend licence fees for 2016 / 17.