"The Eternal Word Television Network, more commonly known by its initials EWTN, is an American basic cable television network which presents around-the-clock Catholic-themed programming. It is not only the largest Catholic television network in America, but reportedly "the world's largest religious media network", (and according to the network itself) reaching 250 million people in 140 countries, with 11 networks. It was founded by Mother Angelica PCPA, in 1980 and began broadcasting on August 15, 1981, from a garage studio at the Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Irondale, Alabama, which Mother Angelica founded in 1962. She hosted her own show, Mother Angelica Live, until health issues led to her retirement in September 2001. As of 2017, Michael P. Warsaw, who is a consultant to the Vatican's Dicastery for Communications, leads EWTN.
In addition to its television network, EWTN owns the National Catholic Register newspaper, which it acquired in January 2011, and Catholic News Agency. The network maintains an online presence through its primary site, EWTN.com, and it has a dedicated commercial site, EWTNReligiousCatalogue.com. EWTN also has a 24-hour radio network, offering Catholic talk and worship programming to about 350 radio stations around the U.S. as well as SiriusXM Satellite Radio and shortwave radio. Some of the schedule is the audio from EWTN television shows and some is original programming for radio listeners.
Regular network programs include a daily Holy Mass and sometimes Tridentine Mass format, the traditional Stations of the Cross, a taped daily recitation of the Rosary, and daily and weekly news, discussion, and Catechetical programs for both adults and children. Christmas and Easter programming; the installation Masses of bishops and cardinals; coverage of World Youth Days; and papal visits, deaths, funerals, conclaves, and elections are also presented. Spanish language broadcasts are available on all platforms. On December 8, 2009, EWTN began broadcasting high-definition television.
The network is overseen by trustees rather than shareholders or owners. A majority of the network's funding comes from viewer donations, protecting it from advertising secular or non-Catholic programming."