The Church of Scientology is launching its own TV Network along with a complimentary OTT service. The organization, which has a list of celebrity followers including Tom Cruise and John Travolta, announced on its official Twitter account Sunday that the new network will debut Monday (8 ET/5 PT) and will be available on DirecTV, Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, iTunes, and Google Play.
“It’s TIME for us to tell OUR story …” one of the organization’s posts read.
According to a description in the iTunes store, the Scientology Network’s service will launch with the original series “Meet A Scientologist,” “Voices for Humanity,” “L. Ron Hubbard: In His Own Voice,” and Scientology Principles films.
In the past, The Church of Scientology has been in the spotlight for issues related to the mistreatment of its members. For example, in A&E’s series: “Scientology and the Aftermath,” Leah Remini, a member of the church until 2013, speaks with other former Scientologists who make several disparaging claims about the church, including that it turns a blind eye to sexual abuse. The church denied claims made by Remini, insisting that she was just looking to boost the shows ratings “by spreading salacious lies to promote A&E’s ugly brand of religious intolerance, bigotry and hatred,” USA Today reported.
To promote the new service, the church bought out advertising space on YouTube’s homepage to promote the project. The organization bought space on “YouTube Masthead,” which is promoted to advertisers as the sites most “prominent real estate.” The Google-owned platform reportedly charges a minimum of $300,000-$400,000 for 24 hours of its masthead ad placement. However, this isn’t the first time the organization has spent cash on prime ad placement. It buys regional advertising each year during the Super Bowl targeting major cities like New York and Los Angeles.