Sky Angel Heralds New Christian IPTV Service

Sky Angel has launched what it touts as the nation’s first Internet Protocol TV service -- delivered over broadband Internet connections -- devoted to Christian and family programming, with a lineup of 70 channels.

Mainstream channels, which Sky Angel calls its "family" tier, include NFL Network, Discovery Channel, Discovery Kids, Fox Business Network, The Weather Channel and Hallmark Channel. Religious channels include FamilyNet, Liberty Channel, God TV, JCTV, Gospel Music Channel, EWTN and CatholicTV.

Sky Angel offers three programming packages: a Faith Package ($14.99 per month), a Family Package ($19.99 per month) and all 70 channels in the Family Values Pak ($24.99 per month). The "over-the-top" service requires customers to have a separate broadband connection.

Sky Angel's predecessor company, Dominion Video Satellite, was founded by Robert Johnson Sr. in 1980 to provide a "Christ-centered and family-friendly alternative" to standard television fare, delivered over direct broadcast satellite.

“Our founder and my father, Robert Johnson Sr., launched the Sky Angel brand more than a decade ago when high-power DBS technology was in its infancy,” Sky Angel CEO Rob Johnson said, in a statement. “Today, our new company, Sky Angel U.S. LLC, shares that same pioneering spirit by employing new innovative technology that will enable the service to expand quickly and cost-effectively while maximizing the viewing experience for our subscribers.”

The IPTV service delivers programming to viewers’ TVs over a high-speed Internet connection and set-top box, using proprietary technology developed by NeuLion. The set-top box can be connected to a broadband router via an Ethernet cable or wireless router.

Other features of the service include a 48-hour playback option for the religious channels, as well as a selection of video-on-demand content.

Naples, Fla.-based Sky Angel said it has received the Parents Television Council's Entertainment Seal of Approval.