Archdiocese enhances longtime partnership with Boston-based CatholicTV; viewers can still expect to see popular programming

DETROIT — The Archdiocese of Detroit is expanding its partnership with Boston-based CatholicTV to continue providing a Catholic broadcast television presence to more than 900,000 homes in southeast Michigan, the archdiocese announced July 10.

The archdiocese’s own broadcast television network, the Catholic Television Network of Detroit (CNTD), which been an affiliate of CatholicTV since 2011, will become known as CatholicTV Detroit starting July 22, said Patricia Maldonado, director of operations for the archdiocese’s communications department.  

“The enhanced partnership with CatholicTV will ensure that there continues to be a Catholic presence on three local cable television systems: Comcast/Xfinity (channel 398), Spectrum (channel 16), and Wyandotte Cable (channel 73), making it available to all who subscribe to these cable entities,” Maldonado said. “The transition will be seamless and will not affect your current viewing other than the channel name.”

Programming also is available online at catholictv.org and via Apple, Android or Roku apps.

The rebranded station will continue to broadcast popular programming such as the Mass, rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet and Perpetual Help novena, in addition to local content produced by the Archdiocese of Detroit.

“It’s been a real benefit to us at CatholicTV to be able to share segments from Unleash the Gospel and other Detroit-produced programming,” said Bonnie Rodgers, director of distribution and growth for CatholicTV. “We’ve had an established relationship with CTND for some time, and Archbishop Vigneron has been so great to us.”

During the pandemic, viewers have become increasingly reliant on livestream and broadcast Masses. The Archdiocese of Detroit continues to maintain a schedule of livestream Masses at aod.org/livemasses, and CatholicTV is working out logistics to broadcast the popular “Mass for Shut-Ins,” which is also broadcast on WJBK Fox 2 Detroit at 6 a.m. Sundays. 

While the transition will present some cost savings to the Archdiocese of Detroit, which will no longer maintain its own studios, it also presents an opportunity to broadcast Detroit-produced programming to a wider audience by sharing those programs on CatholicTV’s national feed, rather than just locally, Rodgers said.

“In some ways, it will expand the reach of Unleash the Gospel to anywhere we have a presence,” Rodgers said. “Any programming that is produced in Detroit, we’re willing to take a look at to see if we can incorporate that into our schedule.”

CTND, which has been on the air in Metro Detroit since 1985, switched its affiliation to CatholicTV in 2011 after having been affiliated with Birmingham, Ala.-based EWTN for nearly 25 years.

CatholicTV, which was founded in the Archdiocese of Boston in 1955 and is America’s oldest Catholic television network, is currently available in 13 million homes throughout New England, Michigan, Hawaii, Louisiana, Tennessee, Vermont and the Virgin Islands.

Although CatholicTV is available in dioceses across the country, Detroit-area viewers are among the most engaged, Rodgers said.

“Whenever we air any of those segments or feature people from Detroit on our ‘This is the Day’ program, we always get great feedback in the Archdiocese of Detroit. It’s clearly an engaged community, so we’re super excited not just to maintain the partnership, but extend it,” Rodgers said. “Clearly, Unleash the Gospel has lit a fire for people.”

Other than the channel name, viewers shouldn’t notice many changes, Rodgers said. Popular programs such as the singing priests show “Going My Way” or women’s talk show “The Gist” will still be available, though there might be minor programming differences.

Questions and concerns about programming should be directed to CatholicTV at www.catholictv.org/contact-us or (617) 923-0220.