Update on SAT-7 ARABIC and KIDS broadcast blockage on NILESAT

February 24, 2011
Update:  As of 15:03 GMT on 23rd February, SAT-7 ARABIC and KIDS broadcasts have been restored on NILESAT. Praise God that the interference has ceased and pray that the broadcasts would continue even during these ongoing, uncertain times in the region.

Original News Release:

Starting on Friday 18th February, as the security situation in Libya began to unravel, SAT-7 ARABIC and SAT-7 KIDS were jammed by an illegal uplink from a technical facility thought to belong to Libyan State Security in Tripoli. As of this time of writing, both channels remain jammed, along with dozens of other channels on the NILESAT system. 

It is not thought that SAT-7 channels were the intended target of the jamming but the interference was aimed at the Al Jazeera news channel, one which shares the same satellite transponder used by SAT-7. It is expected that this jamming will continue until, as many think will happen very soon, the Libyan regime is overthrown.

Of course, these are critical days for the Libyan people and they need our prayers that the violence and bloodshed will end soon. Tragic as the situation appears, the courage they have shown in their struggle for freedom, from a brutal and unpredictable tyrant, is an inspiration to the whole world - and will only add resolve to the wider and historic revolution that is sweeping the Middle East and North Africa at this time.

SAT-7 also urges its supporters and viewers to continue in prayer for the Christians of the region, that they will speak for truth, be agents of reconciliation, messengers of peace, and bold and faithful witnesses for Christ in these days of chaos and great human need. For, while there are only small numbers of national believers in Libya, there are many committed expatriate Christians (especially Coptic Christians from Egypt) still inside the country.

It is estimated that approximately 8 million viewers in the Middle East and North Africa regularly tune in to watch SAT-7 Channels on the NILESAT frequencies. SAT-7 is concerned that the ongoing signal jamming will deny its viewers, both young and old alike, access to a much needed source of encouragement and hope through these turbulent times.

The ministry’s other Arabic channel, SAT-7 PLUS, on the HOT BIRD satellite system, is not being impacted. SAT-7 has notified its viewers via social media that, in most Arab nations, SAT-7 PLUS is still available on the HOT BIRD platform, providing “best of” programming from the ARABIC and KIDS channels.

(Note: SAT-7 PARS and TÜRK regularly operate on HOT BIRD and are also still available.)

Please join SAT-7, and all the churches in the region, as we continue to pray during this time of distress and uncertainty for so many nations. Pray too that SAT-7 will soon be able to resume its full witness to the region, again broadcasting messages of life, peace and hope on its NILESAT (AB4-A) channels to millions of viewers during this critical time.