SAT-7's highlights of 2019
It was a year that brought huge challenges to the people of the Middle East and North Africa. Protests and unrest in Iran, Sudan, Iraq and Lebanon, as well as church closures in Algeria, sparked SAT-7’s creative teams into life: millions of viewers across the region were supported through special episodes and new programmes.
2019 in numbers
As efforts to engage with viewers on social media were stepped up, the response was phenomenal: SAT-7 TÜRK saw a 105% increase in social media engagement, SAT-7 ACADEMY witnessed their viewer numbers double in one year, and SAT-7 KIDS received 48% more phone calls from viewers in 2019!
“I’m watching the programme Let’s Talk. I am 50 years old and I want to listen to you and get informed. I am confused about why Jesus is called Son but I am warm to the idea of Christianity. When I expressed to you that I would learn more if people like you were around me, you directed me to a church. Thank you for answering my questions during your live programme.” Kaan, a viewer from Turkey
Viewer engageMeNT at all-time high
SAT-7 TÜRK saw a 105% increase in viewer feedback in 2019, with the figure including Facebook and YouTube comments, WhatsApp messages, and phone calls. Programmes such as Let’s Talk, a Bible-teaching talk show and the youth programme Turning Point, which are also shared live on social media platforms, have generated a lot of interest. Facebook comments have increased from just 5,000 in 2018 to 12,000 in 2019, reflecting a 141% growth.
Reaching ACROSS THE MENA
In 2019, SAT-7 ARABIC worked on a variety of projects in Algeria, Kurdistan, Tunisia, Morocco, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen as well as in Egypt and Lebanon. These locally-made programmes aim to accurately represent SAT-7 ARABIC’s broad audience and ensure a balance of programmes. A series of special spots were co-produced with production house Light for Yemen, speaking out against violence and war, and the use of occult practices in the country, and calling for gender equality and an end to sexual harassment.
empowering peer role models
In 2019, SAT-7 KIDS’ youngest hosts shone brightly. New presenter Markus Kashouh (15), began hosting SpaceNet, in which his space-traveller character helps children explore God’s world and develop positive values. As Markus says, “SpaceNet shows just how amazing God is”. Meanwhile, 21-year-old Joy Basta from A Riddle and a Story, was moved and delighted by the response of the children he visited in Syria and Egypt. “So many children were running up to me, saying, ‘You’re Joy from SAT-7 KIDS! We love your show!’” he shared.
Providing VITAL SUPPORT
Satellite broadcasting, which cannot be shut down or censored by governments, was more vital than ever for people living in the Persian-speaking world during 2019, especially in Iran. Websites continued to be filtered and blocked, and internet access was shut down completely for a week as protests spread across the country in November. The SAT-7 PARS Audience Relations team was available 24/7 during this period of unrest, providing counselling, encouragement, and advice to viewers.
“Please pray for Iran, as we are experiencing a great deal of suffering. Only God can hear our cries. I am grateful to you. We feel so alone but when I receive your messages, I am overjoyed that there is someone who asks about me and sends me God’s Word.” Shida, female viewer of SAT-7 PARS