Atheist TV will be available via Roku, the Internet-streaming service that attaches to your television like a cable box. Viewers will also be able to stream the content at atheists.tv:
“The launch of Atheist TV is history in the making,” said American Atheists President David Silverman. “There are hundreds of TV channels dedicated to religious programming, but nothing like this has ever existed before for atheists, and yet the demand is overwhelming. For the first time, atheist video content—from firebrand speeches, to stand-up comedy, to documentaries, to real science-based educational programming, and more—is now available to atheists worldwide, on the air and all in one place. Atheist TV brings consistent, quality, superstition-free programming for children and adults, on the air and on-demand, right from your regular television. This is an idea whose time has come and we’re celebrating.”
There’s no word yet on exactly what content will appear on the channel, but it’s tailor-made for videos already available on YouTube.
As it stands, the only original programming on the channel will be The Atheist Viewpoint (AA’s own in-house show). Additional content will be licensed from the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science and the Atheist Community of Austin (which produces The Atheist Experience).
Will ratings matter? Internally, yes, though it’s not like Roku requires a certain viewership to remain on the network. AA Communications Director Dave Muscato told me via email that “As a nonprofit, part of our mission is education and we are doing this as part of that activism, to make a new resource available to atheists and curious fence-sitters and even non-atheists. We want to reach as many people as possible and that is a goal for us.”
The cost for the venture is currently being covered by a donor who wants to see this channel become a reality. However, AA will explore other revenue streams at a later time.