Special to Inside The Pew
LOS ANGELES – With a population of more than 50.5 million, Hispanics make up the largest minority in the United States. What’s more, surveys show that faith in God plays a vital role in the lives of an increasing number of Hispanic individuals and families. It’s little wonder, then, that Trinity Broadcasting Network’s exclusive Spanish-language affiliate, Enlace, has taken its place as one of the fastest growing Christian television networks in North America.
In fact, Enlace president Jonas Gonzalez Jr. recently reported that in the first six months of 2012 alone, the Enlace network expanded its distribution to an astounding 14 million additional subscribers in the U.S. Add to that its recent launch on Mexico’s VETV direct-to-home satellite provider, with an estimated two million new subscribers, and the trend becomes clear. “The Hispanic community places a high priority on faith and values,” explained Gonzalez. “Latino families are drawn toward programming that not only entertains, but inspires and draws them closer to God and the family. That is why Enlace has enjoyed such popularity across Latin America and the U.S.”
TBN founder Dr. Paul Crouch recalled the first time he met Enlace’s founder, the late Jonas Gonzalez Sr., nearly 25 years ago at a converted spaghetti factory in Costa Rica where the elder Gonzalez had built a small television studio to broadcast Christian programming to local viewers. “I’ll never forget that day, because it reminded me so much of TBN’s own start,” recalled Dr. Crouch. “The sparse studio, the primitive equipment — the ten-watt transmitter that was so small I could hold it in my hands. Just like TBN, Enlace was a miracle in the making, poised to explode beyond its humble beginnings and take the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ to the Spanish-speaking world.”
And, indeed, Enlace’s global growth has been nothing short of miraculous. With TBN’s financial support, technical expertise, and unflagging guidance and encouragement, Enlace has grown into a 24/7 Christian television powerhouse, with 15 satellites and thousands of cable and television affiliates broadcasting faith and family programming to Spain, Mexico, Central and South America, and across the United States. And with the addition of Enlace Juvenil, its exclusive youth network, Enlace now reaches every Hispanic viewer demographic with programming that is relevant, entertaining, and uplifting.
U.S. cable and satellite providers have quickly recognized Enlace’s commitment to Hispanic viewers, with DirecTV, DISH Network, Comcast, Time Warner, Charter, Cox, AT&T U-verse, and Verizon FiOS all including Enlace in their broadcast packages. Enlace is also one of the five multicast channels TBN provides in its full-power broadcast offerings in 35 cities across the nation — along with its TBN flagship channel, the JCTV youth network, the Church Channel, and the Smile of a Child kid’s network.
“It’s a privilege to include Enlace and Enlace Juvenil as distinct members of Trinity Broadcasting’s Family of Networks,” said Dr. Crouch. “They represent the commitment we have embraced at TBN over the past 40 years to use this miracle called television to take the good news of Jesus Christ to our neighborhoods and communities, and to the very ends of the earth.”