The Church of Scientology announced that it will launch its own TV network Monday. Content from the church’s media arm, called Scientology Media Productions, will be available on DirectTV, Scientology.tv, Apple TV, Roku, FireTV, iTunes, and Google Play. A countdown clock on its app and website states that web content for the network won’t be available until 8 p.m. EDT. The network’s programming lineup is not yet known. According to the Los Angeles Times, the church will take over DirectTV’s channel 360, which currently runs infomercials. This is the church’s biggest step toward promoting its organization and beliefs through TV, topping its yearly 30-second Super Bowl ad buys. The church has support in Hollywood, where the production company reportedly is based. Celebrities like Tom Cruise, Elisabeth Moss, and John Travolta have been identified as Scientologists. The church has received criticism and raised concerns over the years with allegations of child abuse within its ranks and a culture of silence among its devotees.
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