How would you like to own a slice of air and suddenly it’s worth tens of millions?
The cost for Americans’ insatiable demand for instant internet use just went up a few notches, or maybe more than just a few… The various “airwaves” licensed to television broadcasters and purchased for millions decades ago are now worth billions.
In recent years, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recognized a need by AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and other large cell phone or internet service providers to gain larger slivers of a rapidly disappearing spectrum “pie” for portable and non-portable cellular device usage. Consequently, the FCC has organized and conducted a number of heavy-duty auctions enticing TV station owners to sell portions of spectrum they own and use for broadcasting.
The US public was largely uninformed and, for the most part, left out of this process; a process which, no doubt will show up as an increase in our phone and internet bills soon enough. “Christian” television providers—think private jets, multiple large mansions with Italian marble floors, five-star European hotels and restaurants, expensive rare wines, yachts, etc.—have profited hugely to the tune of $1.2 BILLION.
The ubiquitous Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) has profited far above a slew of others, such as as Lesea, Morning-Star, Maranatha, Good life, Daystar, etc. TBN and its affiliates have taken in a whopping $634.3 million dollars so far from its own sale of television broadcast spectrum.
In the process, they’ve actually lost few if any of their TV stations in audience markets around the country due to the large increase in the number of digital slots made available with the switch from analog to digital, high-definition television. Viewers will simply change channels.
Now, what are they going to do with the money? Will any of it go to real charity—such as homelessness, hunger, and medical needs?
Here’s a list our volunteer investigator Barry Bowen compiled from the FCC:
WCLJ-TV – Indianapolis, IN – Trinity Broadcasting of Indiana, Inc. — $18,759,808 (TBN)
WHMB-TV – Indianapolis, IN – LeSEA Broadcasting of Indianapolis, Inc. — $18,325,111
WKBS-TV – Johnstown-Altoona, PA – Cornerstone Television, Inc. — $10,361,255
WAGV – Knoxville, TN – Living Faith Ministries, Inc. — $7,536,418
WTLW – Lima, OH – American Christian Television Services, Inc. — $7,697,376
WVCY-TV – Milwaukee, WI – VCY America Inc. — $76,342,409
WTBY-TV – New York, NY – Trinity Broadcasting of New York, Inc. — $162,402,181 (TBN)
WACX – Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, FL – Associated Christian Television System, Inc. — $20,310,061
WTGL – Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, FL – Good Life Broadcasting, Inc. — $20,394,122
WFMZ-TV – Philadelphia, PA – Maranatha Broadcasting Company, Inc. — $140,482,163
WGTW-TV -Philadelphia, PA -Trinity Christian Center of Santa Ana, Inc.– $80,807,629 (TBN)
WDWL – Puerto Rico – Teleadoracion Christian Network, Inc. – $7,780,506
WHFL-CD – Raleigh-Durham, NC – Free Life Ministries, Inc. — $2,721,376
WRAY-TV – Raleigh-Durham, NC – Radiant Life Ministries, Inc. — $62,419,828
WFFP-TV – Roanoke-Lynchburg, VA – Morning Star Broadcasting, LLC — $23,182,528
WNYI – Syracuse, NY – word of god fellowship, inc. — $2,319,390
WFGC – West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, FL – Christian Television of Palm Beach County, Inc. – $3,359,483
Total amount: $1,223,872,598
Postscript: We regularly illustrate the wealthy lifestyles of televangeslists, Christian TV broadcasters, etc. For a small example of how the money gets spent, read these 2 Orange County Register articles to view 1) a mansion belonging to TBN and occupied by the late Paul Crouch, Sr. which is currently on the market for $4.35M and 2) a separate mansion belonging to TBN and occupied by the late Jan Crouch which sold for $5.15M in December 2016.