Bishop TD Jakes is adding streaming television to his faith-based media empire.
According to Variety, the well-known preacher, inspirational speaker, and author has signed a deal with Amazon Freevee to launch a free, ad-supported streaming channel (FAST) and on-demand service featuring 300 hours of his content.
Beginning Thursday, December 1, sermons, interviews and unscripted programs will be available on-demand, while the streaming channel is slated to launch in early 2023. The deal brings Jakes to an international audience, with rights in the US, UK and Germany, as well as TD Jakes on the street Episodes from Australia, London and Africa.
“It’s unprecedented for both of us,” Jakes told Variety. “This is the first time [Amazon has] ever dealt with this type of content before. And while we’re doing scripted shows and I’ve done things for Sony and other people, initially they don’t ask for stuff like that. They want purely faith-based content, sermons, messages, and inspiration to be streamed and viewed for free on a dedicated FAST channel. This is new for them and for us.”
The deal is not exclusive, so programs from The Potter’s House Head of Ministry may be available on other platforms. Many of the Church’s events, as well as live streams of weekly worship services, are currently available on YouTube.
While we’ve seen big media deals for faith leaders before, it usually centers around a white male preacher and is on a smaller niche station. Sealing a deal with a platform like Amazon is a very big step for a black religious leader like TD Jakes. The tech and retail giant directly recognizes the power and importance of the Black Church.
“This is the first time a company like Amazon has treated us without discriminating beliefs and being open about providing this type of content to a specific base in their constituency that finds this type of content enjoyable,” Jakes said. “For me, that’s a very good thing. It won’t be for everyone. But for those who really enjoy this type of service, which our numbers confirm there are millions of people, we can now offer these services through Amazon.”
That crushing The author has produced several films and television series including Lifetime’s Seven Deadly Sins Anthology. While the original Amazon Freevee plans only feature unscripted content, Jakes is open to working with the streamer on scripted programming.
“We’re also talking about the possibility of doing scripted TV shows and other types of content through Amazon, beyond preaching messages,” he said. “So this is just the beginning of a relationship that is forming between our organization and them.”
In case you’ve never heard of Amazon Freevee, it’s a free channel available on Prime Video. It has many TV shows from the 80s and 90s but also new series Leverage: Repayment, Bosch: Legacy and British comedy time master.