2001 News Archives

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese PSA Airs on Odyssey Network

New York, NY- The hand with the delicate paint brush is firm as the artist adds color to the eye of the Virgin Mary. “I have painted a thousand sacred icons,” says George Filippakis, “the eyes of Mary, the hands of the infant Jesus.” The brush dips into the paint in this new PSA (Public Service Announcement) for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America on Odyssey Network, a 24-hour cable television channel that provides high-quality family entertainment programming to a national audience of nearly 28 million subscribers.

You think I get bored?” asks the artist, knowing full well the answer. The camera lovingly caresses his work. “These icons are a window to heaven, and a window through which heaven blesses me. How could I ever tire of that?” he muses.

The spot is part of a national identity project by Faith & Values Media called “Discover Our Family of Faiths PSA Campaign” to showcase America’s Christian and Jewish faith groups to a mass audience. Faith & Values Media produces television programming on Odyssey for its 29 faith group members.

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is a founding member of the National Interfaith Cable Coalition, an organization of 70 Christian and Jewish Faith groups, which launched the network in 1988 as VISN (Vision Interfaith Satellite Network). His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America and Nikki Stephanopoulos, News and Information/Public Affairs Officer of the Archdiocese, serve on the 15 member Board of Trustees.

We are thrilled with this opportunity to open the window to the spiritually-uplifting iconography which is unique to the Orthodox Christian Church,&qout; comments Marissa P. Costidis, managing director of Greek Orthodox Telecommunications and member of the NICC Operations Board.

“This is an important way our members can reach a potential audience in the millions,” notes William Spencer Reilly, Faith & Values Media’s executive producer. “This PSA identity campaign is just right for a cable network like Odyssey with nearly 28 million subscribers and an audience seeking substantial values programming,” he says. Currently, there are 10 spots from as many faiths groups airing with more spots to come.

The goal is to have one or more spots for each member over two years. All of these messages close with the tag line, “Discover our family of faiths on Odyssey.” The benefits to the faith groups are considerable. Commercial advertisers spend tens of thousands of dollars to create a single 30-second message and additional thousands more to buy air time. Yet as a service to its members Faith & Values Media assumes all the costs of production, and Odyssey airs the spots free as public service announcements. The faith group gets to keep the spot to use any way it wishes.


Faith & Values Media is a service of the National Interfaith Cable Coalition, Inc. (NICC), whose 29 members represent 70 faith groups with 200,000 congregations and 120 million members. It is the nation’s largest coalition of Christian and Jewish faith groups dedicated to media production, distribution and promotion. Faith & Values Media’s programming services are available on the Odyssey Network and on www.FaithAndValuesMedia.com. NICC is the founding partner of Odyssey, which is today owned and operated by Crown Media Holdings, Inc. VISN Management Corp., a for-profit subsidiary of NICC, is among the owners of Crown Media Holdings, Inc.

About Odyssey and Crown Media Holdings, Inc.

Odyssey Network is a 24-hour cable television network that provides high-quality broad appeal entertainment programming to a national audience of nearly 28 million subscribers. The program service is distributed through 1,500 cable systems, DirecTV (Channel 312) and EchoStar (DISH Channel 185) direct-to-home satellite services and C-Band dish owners across the country. Odyssey is owned and operated by Crown Media Holdings, Inc.(NASDAQ NM: CRWN, ASE: CRWN) and EM.TV & Merchandising AG (parent company of the Jim Henson Company). Strategic investors in Crown Media Holdings, Inc. include Hallmark Entertainment, Inc., a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards, Inc.; Liberty Media Corp. (NYSE: LMG.A and LMG.B); the National Interfaith Cable Coalition, Inc. and Chase Capital Partners. For more information on Odyssey Network and its programming visit www.OdysseyChannel.com.

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