Smile (shortened from its original name of Smile of a Child) is an American Christian-based digital broadcast, digital cable and satellite television network owned and operated by the Trinity Broadcasting Network. The network is aimed at children between the ages of 2 and 12 years, and offers a mix of children's religious and family-oriented programming. The network was founded as the television arm of TBN's Smile of a Child ministry, created by TBN co-founder Jan Crouch.
Although since June 1, 2015, it shares channel space with sister network JUCE TV over-the-air, Smile continues to operate as a separate channel from JUCE on pay television providers as well as on select digital streaming services that offer TBN's six U.S. networks.
The network is available in the U.S. on DirecTV and Dish Network and throughout North and Central America as a free-to-air channel on Galaxy 14 C-band, Galaxy 19 Ku band and available with Glorystar Christian Satellite. Internationally, Smile is on the Hot Bird satellite service in Europe, ABS1 satellite to Asia, India and the Middle East, and Agila 2 both C-band and Ku band signal in some areas of Asia and the Philippines. The network is also livestreamed on both its own and TBN's website.
Founded as Smile of a Child TV by TBN co-founder Jan Crouch (who died from the effects of a stroke on May 31, 2016), the network was developed and named after Smile of a Child, a children's outreach ministry founded by Jan and Paul Crouch in the 1990s to provide services and donations to needy children worldwide. The network launched on December 24, 2005 at 3:00 a.m. Eastern Time, with the holiday-themed special Martin the Cobbler as its inaugural program.
Smile was initially available as a 24-hour-a-day service on all platforms, debuted on digital subchannels of TBN owned-and-operated station in 13 markets. Over the subsequent years, Smile expanded its national coverage to all of TBN's owned-and-operated and affiliated stations in nearly 40 markets, carried usually on the fifth subchannel (for example, if the local TBN station broadcasts on channel 17, then Smile would be carried on digital subchannel 17.5). The network's original butterfly logo is a visual representation of the initials of Jan Crouch's maiden name, JWB (Janice Wendell Bethany).
On June 1, 2015, Smile was combined into a single subchannel with sister network JUCE TV (which targets teenagers and young adults 13 to 30 years of age), under a timeshare arrangement. As a result of the realignment, for over-the-air viewers, Smile was originally reduced to a nine-hour daily programming schedule (from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern Time) on the third subchannel occupied by JUCE (which continues to air over its existing subchannel slot for the remainder of the broadcast day) on the 38 stations owned directly by TBN and through its subsidiary Community Educational Television. The following week, the time share was modified so that Smile now airs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Eastern), with JUCE airing the remainder of the day, giving each network a daily 12 hour window on subchannel 3.
The change – due to technical limitations with its stations' existing digital compression equipment – is a byproduct of the launch of TBN Salsa, a digital subchannel network targeting English-speaking Hispanic viewers which launched on that date.
While it now has a reduced presence on broadcast television, Smile continues to maintain a 24-hour-day schedule, with all programming not shown over-the-air remaining available via live stream on TBN's website, and mobile and digital media players as well as on select cable and satellite providers that carry the TBN multicast networks, as was the case before the over-the-air consolidation of the two networks.
On New Year's Day, 2017, the network underwent a major rebranding, shortening its name to simply Smile; accordingly, it dropped the butterfly logo and graphics package that had been in use since 2005.
Although primarily a Christian-based network, Smile has acquired some secular programming from outside producers and the public domain, such as Lassie, Davey and Goliath, VeggieTales, 3-2-1 Penguins, and The Big Garage, as well as acquiring the U.S. rights to Canadian series such as Mickey's Farm. It also airs family-oriented movies with religious/inspirational themes on Friday afternoons and Saturday evenings.