After a strong start, Hope Channel New Zealand continues to grow, with recent reports showing 216,000 New Zealanders have watched the free-to-air Adventist television channel.
Nielsen, the secular company that provides TV ratings to major media companies, reports Hope Channel New Zealand (HCNZ) hit a new viewership high of 216,000 unique viewers in July. HCNZ viewership grew approximately 8 per cent from May to July.
“We were afraid that after the novelty of launching the new channel, we might see viewership drop off,” said Neale Schofield who leads HCNZ. “Instead, we’re seeing it go from strength to strength. This is a real answer to prayer. We now have roughly 2000 per cent more Hope Channel viewers than we have members in NZ.
“I speak at a different church every Sabbath and in every church I’ve spoken at—big or small—I’ve met people who have come to their local Adventist church because of what they’ve seen on Hope Channel. It is incredible to see the Holy Spirit beginning to move across New Zealand!”
“Hope Channel is a game changer for us,” agreed Dr Brad Kemp, president of the New Zealand Pacific Union. “It has been amazing to see church members across this beautiful country rally together to provide everything from locally made TV shows, to managing the technical side, from reviewing content before it airs, to providing logistical and financial support. We see God moving everywhere we look.” [pullquote]
Eddie Tupa’i, lead pastor of the North New Zealand Conference, said, “We still have a lot of work to do to connect our Hope Channel viewers to our local churches. We know that around every one of our churches there are hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of Hope Channel viewers. We want to turn each of those viewers from passive watchers to disciples of Jesus.”
Mr Schofield concurs. “Now that we’ve found our audience, we want to connect them with our local churches where faith can be lived out in our vibrant community. To do that, we have a four-pronged plan:
- First, we are beginning a series of live HCNZ events across New Zealand this spring.
- Second, we’ve got new church signage that communicates visually to our viewers that the local Adventist church is a Hope Channel welcome centre in their community.
- Third, we’re redesigning how we connect with viewers online.
- Fourth, we’re making more Kiwi content as we know locally made shows resonate better with New Zealanders.
“Of course, all of this takes resources. But we believe God will provide what is needed. And so far, every step of the HCNZ journey, that’s exactly what He has done through the faith, commitment and generosity of His people.”