The recent changes in regional television affiliations have seen one of Australia’s longest running shows slip through the cracks.
Network Ten‘s Sunday morning program Mass For You At Home has not been picked up by the network’s new regional partner WIN, even though it had been screening through its previous affiliate Southern Cross Ten.
WIN, which covers regional Queensland, Southern NSW/ACT, Tasmania, regional Victoria, South East South Australia and regional Western Australia, has instead opted to schedule a syndicated American program, This Is Your Day With Benny Hinn, in the early morning Sunday timeslot. While this is also a religious program it does not fulfill the same objective as MFYAH and presumably is paid-for programming, like an infomercial, or derives revenue through commercial breaks. MFYAH goes to air commercial free.
MFYAH was started in 1971 as a Melbourne-only production, at a time when television stations were obliged to run a certain amount of religious programming. These days it airs across the Ten Network as a community service to allow viewers — mostly those isolated whether by age, distance, illness or imprisonment — access to participate in Sunday Mass. Even though it is broadcast early on Sunday mornings it claims a loyal following of viewers and supporters.
Despite the financial challenges Ten has faced over the years it has continued to support and broadcast MFYAH every week, still commercial free, missing only on the odd occasion when sporting telecasts or other obligations have taken precedence over the timeslot. The network donates production staff and facilities for the program and pays the cost of music licencing fees.
The program was bumped to Eleven a couple of years ago but has since been returned to the primary Ten channel. It is currently also screening on pay TV public access channel Aurora and is available to view online at TenPlay.
MFYAH continues to go to air on Network Ten outlets in other regional markets not covered by WIN.