I’ve been so frustrated and frankly baffled at many of the responses to my previous posts on family and faith based programming provider Sky Angel’s move to IPTV, so I wanted to respond one last time. Honestly, I’m a little disgusted with most of the responses, and here are some reasons why:
I’ve been completely surprised by the nasty, bitter tone of many of the posts. Arrogant, hostile – even slanderous – statements by people who are talking about Christian programming! After investigating the situation closely, I can find very little reason for such hostile responses. After all, as company President Tom Scott wrote on this blog, nobody lost any money. People are whining about how much they’ve lost, and how much Sky Angel owes them, but no one lost money. Others are trying to mobilize a class action lawsuit. But what damages are there? None. Is the situation of losing satellite distribution regrettable? Certainly – and Sky Angel’s leadership has said as much more than once. But the move to IPTV was triggered by a satellite failure, and yet people “demand” the company apparently spend hundreds of millions of dollars to make a satellite (that Sky Angel doesn’t even own) right again. But sorry – you can’t fix a broken satellite. The “Geek Squad” can’t fly up there and make it better.
Could the company have done a better job of communicating? Perhaps. Was the partnerships with other organizations a bad idea? In retrospect, yes. But Mr. Johnson’s vision was to reach the world, and if he erred, it was on the side of expansion. Was Robert Johnson’s original idea of lifetime memberships a great concept? Probably not. After all, who can promise anything when it comes to technology that changes faster than at any time in history? But to crucify the company because of circumstances that are now out of their control?
It’s crazy when you think about it.
And speaking of Robert Johnson, why does everyone put him on such a pedestal? No question he was a visionary founder, and a brilliant man. But over and over, people talk as if the current management has desecrated his memory. Guess what? He picked the current management. He was completely aware of where the company was going before his passing. His own son has assumed the torch and the vision of the company and is the current CEO. Mr. Johnson’s wife is the Chairman. And do you really think Mr. Johnson wouldn’t have jumped at the chance to embrace this new technology? Remember – that’s the reason he founded the company. He was embracing the new satellite technology of his era because of his dissatisfaction with the current Christian programming slate on cable TV. When it comes to IPTV, he would have been the first in line.
It’s no wonder we’ve failed so miserably as Christians to make an impact in the culture. How is anyone supposed to look at us differently when we bicker and fight like this? Especially over something as small as our TV programming. It’s frankly embarrassing. The same types of people who criticize Christian leaders for getting a divorce because of the damage it does to the perception of Christians are fighting like cats and dogs over their TV service.
My comments are completely my own and don’t reflect at all on Sky Angel. As someone who works in media for a living, these types of issues matter to me, because if we don’t embrace technology and the power of change, we’ll continue to slide further and future into irrelevance in the eyes of the culture.
Folks, we’ve got to do better than this.
I’ve written before that we’re only as big as the size of the things that annoy us. For so many to get this worked up over TV programs is a sad state of affairs indeed. Let’s fight about something important like poverty, global hunger, or human trafficking. Let’s get upset over child abuse or global terrorism. Let’s get mad because of the persecution of our Christian brothers and sisters in countries where they’re being tortured and killed.
But a class action lawsuit because technology is changing and we can’t get our John Hagee fix through our satellite dish? Do you really want to be the guy that gets to heaven, and the accomplishment you’re most proud of is that you took Sky Angel to court?