Amazon Freevee is getting into business with Bishop T.D. Jakes, signing a two-year deal with the spiritual figure to launch a FAST (free, ad-supported streaming) channel and provide on-demand access to 300 hours of Jakes’ content.
The deal, which launches Dec. 1 and covers rights in the U.S., UK and Germany, will include sermons, interviews and other unscripted, faith-based programming from Jakes’ library — which has been amassed over 45 years. While the programming will be available on demand at that time, the FAST channel will launch in early 2023 on Amazon Freevee and within Prime Video.
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Michael Phillips, the chief operating officer of T.D. Jakes Enterprises, will oversee the programming output.
“it’s unprecedented for both of us,” Jakes said of the deal. “It’s the first time that [Amazon has] ever gone into that type of content before. And while we do scripted shows, and I’ve done things for Sony and other people, they initially are not asking for anything like that. They’re wanting purely faith-based content, preaching sermons, messages, inspiration, to be available to stream on a dedicated FAST channel and free to watch. That’s a new thing for them and for us.”
Other programming in the mix includes “T.D. Jakes on The Road” editions including Australia, London, and Africa, leadership and business talks and conversations with celebrities and political leaders.
“This is where the first time a company like Amazon has treated us without discriminating about faith and be open to providing this type of content for a certain base of their constituency who find that type of content enjoyable,” Jakes said. “To me that is a very good thing. It won’t be for everybody. But for those people who really enjoy that type of ministry, which our numbers verify that there are millions of people who do, we can now provide those services through Amazon.”
Jakes said the deal with Amazon isn’t exclusive, which means T.D. Jakes programming and channels would very well pop up on other AVOD distributors as well.
“We’re also talking about the possibility of, down the road, doing scripted television shows and other types of content through Amazon, beyond preaching messages,” said Jakes, whose producing credits include the films “Sparkle,” “Heaven Is for Real” and “A Dog’s Way Home.” “So, this this is just ground level zero of a relationship that is emerging between our organization and them.”
Said Lauren Anderson, head of AVOD original content and programming at Amazon Studios: “As we build our faith-based offerings alongside our entertainment selection, we are honored to be the exclusive video streaming home for Bishop Jakes’ decades-long ministry, and proud to be a destination for viewers to find an ongoing source of spiritual inspiration.”
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