Enough with the smut! This New Castle producer makes wholesome TV

“We only want to put out positive content that is suitable for everybody,” said Ed Grobes, who just launched a religion channel on Roku.

Ed Grobes works with church groups, scientists and community orgs to create family-friendly TV content. (Courtesy photo)

Nazca Network wants to help you make your TV show a reality. But only if it’s life-affirming and family-friendly.
Nazca Network was founded by Ed Grobes, a New Castle-based graphic designer and webmaster who early in his career became a video and TV producer, as well as an early advocate of livestreaming.
“We were the first to stream live television on the web, 24 hours, simulcast,” says Grobes, 53. Well before YouTube and livestreaming became mainstream, in January of 2000, Grobes and his colleagues at PhillyTV partnered with Mark Cuban’s to livestream PhillyTV content on the internet using fiber cables that stretched from Philadelphia to Texas. “We made history,” he says.
In the years since then, Grobes went on to found Nazca Network, which produces broadcast content for individuals, area churches and local community organizations that promote a message of hope, spiritual growth or betterment of health or circumstances. Nazca Network’s clients include Duffy’s Hope, a local organization that provides support services to at-risk youth, and Hafeez Fatunmbi, a Delaware scientist who wanted to publicize his cancer research findings. The topics these churches, community groups and individuals want to advance are definitely not the usual fare you’ll find on traditional broadcast channels, and that’s why Grobes wants to develop programming for them.
“We only want to put out positive content that is suitable for everybody,” Grobes declares. “There is a lot of stuff out there, to me, I wouldn’t want my kids to watch. That’s why we work with communities and churches and health [professionals] and doctors. [All things that] I think have more value to it than just making up crazy content just for the sake of it.”
Not only is family-friendly and life-affirming programming something many traditional broadcast outlets shun, but in the past, the financial costs associated with producing content for broadcast platforms have discouraged community groups and individuals from using these outlets to publicize their messages or activities. But times have changed. The internet and streaming devices such as Roku, AppleTV, Google’s Chromecast and Amazon’s Fire TV Stick are dismantling both of these impediments. Still, those streaming devices don’t have the same market share as old fashioned TV, though they are growing in popularity — services like Netflix and Amazon Instant Watch will reach 330 million subscribers by 2019, driven in part by devices like Roku, according to a Juniper Research report.
In addition to YouTube and social media sites, Grobes’ Nazca Network now operates the freshly launched Life and Spirit channel on Roku to promote the type of content he wants to see more of. Grobes created the Life and Spirit channel using the Roku Publishing Platform, an open source program that allows users to create their own TV channels. Grobes sees the channel as an opportunity to continue his quest to expand TV program options with more helpful and positive TV shows, and as a way to counter the images and behavior that is found in today’s popular programming.
Grobes also wants to help out content providers he feels are aiding in his mission is offering his Life and Spirit channel as an affordable avenue for churches, community groups and individuals to promote their interests and build an audience as large as a data connection and Roku device will get you. With Roku’s 13 million active accounts, Nazca Network is on its way to delivering on its promise — now it’s a question of getting those viewers to tune in.
“If the content we have is available everywhere then it’s easier for people to get it,” he says. “By having our content across these platforms, it helps our clients because they get a broader audience.
Grobes, who’s the only full-time staffer at Nazca and works with a team of freelancers, adds that he has plans to launch a channel on AppleTV soon.
If you have a Roku device, you can add the Life and Spirit channel on the Roku Channel Store.


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