Available on: Apple TV, Amazon FireTV, Roku, AndroidTV, GooglePlay, iOS, and X-Box.
Cost: $5.99/month, $53.99/year, 14-day free trial
UP Faith and Family is a commercial-free streaming service for families. Like Netflix and Amazon Prime, UP Faith and Family offers a broad cross-section of genres, from original dramas and reality shows to documentaries and nature programs, to features based on classic children’s books, to feel-good romantic comedies. The key difference is that whereas Netflix and Amazon Prime have a substantial volume of mature-audiences-only programming to navigate around, virtually everything on UP Faith and Family is suitable for family audiences.
There’s not a great deal of content here specifically for preschoolers or school aged children, so they are clearly not trying to compete with Disney Junior or PBS Kids, although they do have some child-specific programs like “Owlegories,” “Zoo Juniors,” and “Learning to See: The World of Insects.” Instead, UP Faith and Family appears to be truly focused on programs the family will want to watch together, and I stress, “want to watch” because although we often advise parents to watch with their kids in order to mitigate against harmful content their children might be exposed to, that’s generally not a risk here; instead, UP F&F seems to have hit on a winning formula for family-programming that will keep kids and grown-ups alike informed and entertained without fear of embarrassment.
That’s not to say that every program is going to be equally suitable for every member of the family; nor is it to suggest that their programming line-up is devoid of anything that might be the least bit challenging, difficult, or controversial. It is also important to note in this context that this is a faith-based streaming service, so content is generally consistent with a Christian/Evangelical world view, which might not sit well with some consumers, especially on topics that are currently very much a part of current public policy debates.
UP F&F apparently employs content filters on non-original properties they’ve licensed. For example, one of their featured series, “Wild at Heart,” apparently produced in the UK, did contain some foul language, but the audio was dropped for any words that would be recognized in the US as obscene or vulgar. (Words recognized as vulgar in the UK, like “tosser” and “shag” made it past their filters, however.) This series also dealt with some potentially upsetting topics like bullying, infidelity, divorce, and although handled responsibly, there are no age-based or content ratings that might have warned parents about these tough issues.
UP F&F also offers a large selection of adult programs that won’t necessarily appeal to children, like “Jo Frost, Nanny on Tour,” or “Crazy Beautiful Weddings,” but which grown-ups can watch with their kids in the room without fear of inadvertently exposing their kids to profanity, sex or violence. For future iterations of the service, we would encourage the addition of age-based content ratings, so parents could more easily distinguish which programming is intended for children and which is not.
UP Faith and Family has crafted a streaming video on demand service that can entertain families without being shocking, explicit or offensive. We believe there is a huge and woefully underserved marketplace for such a service. The Parents Television Council applauds UP Faith and Family, and we proudly award it our Seal of Approval®.