GAC Family

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GAC Family
CountryUnited States
Broadcast areaNationwide
HeadquartersKnoxville, Tennessee
Programming
Language(s)English
Picture format
Ownership
OwnerGAC Media
Sister channelsGAC Living
History
LaunchedDecember 31, 1995; 25 years ago (1995-12-31)
Former namesGreat American Country (1995-2021)
GAC (2004-2014; secondary branding throughout run of network)
Links
Websitewww.gacfamily.com
Availability
Cable
Available on most American cable systemsChannel slots vary on each operator
Satellite
Dish Network
  • Channel 165 (HD)
DirecTV
  • Channel 326 (HD)
IPTV
Google FiberChannel slots may vary
AT&T U-verseChannel 529 (SD)
Channel 1529 HD)
Streaming media
Fubo TV, Philo, Hulu with Live TV, Sling, Frndly TV

GAC Family (formerly Great American Country/GAC) is an American cable television network owned by GAC Media. It was previously owned by Discovery, Inc. and based in Knoxville, Tennessee, GAC was initially established as a music channel focusing on country music, but later expanded its format to include lifestyle programming pertaining to the American Heartland and south (including relevant library programming from other Scripps Networks Interactive channels. As of February 2015, Great American Country was available to approximately 59.547 million television households (51.2% of pay television customers) in the United States.[1]

Following the network's sale to GAC Media in 2021, the network shifted focus once more, becoming a family-oriented network similar to that of Hallmark Channel. On September 27, 2021, the network was renamed GAC Family.

History[edit]

First Great American Country logo, used from launch to 2004
Great American Country logo, 2014-2021

The channel was launched on December 31, 1995, with the first music video to be broadcast on the channel, Garth Brooks' "The Thunder Rolls".[2] The channel was originally owned by the Centennial, Colorado-based Jones Radio Network. Scripps Networks, which was spun off from the E. W. Scripps Company in July 2008, acquired Great American Country from Jones Radio Network on October 12, 2004.

In late 2005, television industry trade publication Broadcasting & Cable named GAC as one of TV's "Breakout Networks"[3] heading into 2006, saying of the channel: "The emerging GAC is a younger, hipper version that respects Nashville's country roads but widens the boulevards."

Great American Country and ABC Radio Networks (now Cumulus Media) formed a partnership to produce a nightly radio show called GAC Nights: Live From Nashville hosted by Suzanne Alexander, and co-hosted by Storme Warren and Nan Kelley. It was broadcast from its studios at Music Row in Nashville, Tennessee. The show ran from 2007 to 2009, when it was canceled.[citation needed]

AT&T U-verse dropped Great American Country, and sister networks Food Network, Cooking Channel, HGTV, and DIY Network on November 5, 2010, due to a carriage dispute over an increase in retransmission fees.[4] Two days later, however, the dispute was resolved.[5][6]

On October 1, 2013, the network unveiled a new logo inspired by the U.S. flag, dropping the "GAC" acronym in favor of using the Great American Country name in full. The network stated that it wanted to emphasize its expansion from a country music-oriented channel to one with a larger emphasis on "country" as referring to a "sense of place" and lifestyles (citing programming such as Celebrity Motor Homes and Farm Kings as examples).[7] With the channel's rebranding, the daily music video show Daily Countdown was renamed Great American Playlist. Top 20 Country Countdown continued to air (although it was cancelled in December 2018), and the network still offered country music specials including Backstory, Introducing and Origins.[8]

Sale to GAC Media[edit]

On June 7, 2021, Discovery (who had acquired Scripps Networks Interactive, and had agreed to a proposed merger with WarnerMedia) announced that it would divest Great American Country to GAC Media, an investment group led by Tom Hicks and former Crown Media Holdings CEO Bill Abbott (the network's format was already duplicated by Discovery's Destination America, making it a surplus asset). GAC Media would also acquire the equestrian network Ride TV, making the two sister networks.[9]

In August 2021, GAC Media announced that it would relaunch Great American Country and Ride TV as GAC Family and GAC Living on September 27; GAC Family is being positioned as a family-oriented channel (similar to Hallmark Channel, which Abbott had previously overseen) that will feature original series and movies emphasizing "relationships and the emotional connections related to holidays, seasons and occasions", and programming reflecting "American culture, lifestyle and heritage."[10]

GAC Family acquired season 2 of When Hope Calls, a spin-off of Hallmark Channel's When Calls the Heart moving from Hallmark Movies Now.[11] It also announced plans to air nine original Christmas movies over the holiday season, tapping former Home & Family hosts Debbie Matenopoulos and Cameron Mathison to host the preview special Welcome to Great American Christmas.[12]

In October 2021, Frndly TV and GAC Media had reached an agreement to add GAC Media channels, GAC Living and GAC Family, to the service. [13]

Programming[edit]

Under its previous ownership, the network's original programming included series such as Kimberly's Simply Southern, a cooking show featuring Kimberly Schlapman (member of the country music group Little Big Town), Farm Kings, a reality show chronicling the King family of Freedom Farms; and Celebrity Motorhomes.[14] It also featured reruns of shows from former Scripps Networks Interactive sister networks that suited the network's format. From 2011 through 2013, GAC broadcast the National Finals Rodeo.[15][16]

As of September 2021, the network's lineup primarily consists of classic sitcoms.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Seidman, Robert (February 22, 2015). "List of how many homes each cable network is in as of February 2015". TV by the Numbers. Zap2it. Archived from the original on February 23, 2015. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
  2. ^ The Official Garth Brooks Website Archived January 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Hot & Happening: Breakout Networks. Broadcasting & Cable. October 31, 2005.
  4. ^ AT&T's U-verse Drops Food Network, HGTV and Other Scripps Networks, Chicago Tribune, November 5, 2010
  5. ^ Food Network, HGTV, Back on U-verse, Chicago Tribune, November 7, 2010
  6. ^ AT&T U-verse, Scripps Reconnect on Carriage Contract. MultiChannel News. November 7, 2010.
  7. ^ "Great American Country Broadens Expanse". MediaPost. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
  8. ^ Watts, Cindy (October 2, 2013). "GAC announces rebranding, programming changes". The Tennessean.
  9. ^ Goldsmith, Jill (June 7, 2021). "Discovery Sells Great American Country To Investor Group With Former Crown Media Chief Bill Abbott As CEO". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  10. ^ Lafayette, Jon (August 26, 2021). "Former Hallmark Head Bill Abbott Renames Cable Networks To Create Family Friendly GAC Brands". Broadcasting Cable. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  11. ^ Otterson, Joe (September 28, 2021). "Lori Loughlin Sets Acting Return in "When Hope Calls" on GAC Family". Variety. Retrieved September 28, 2021.
  12. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 28, 2021). "Lori Loughlin To Reprise 'When Calls the Heart' Character In Season 2 Of 'When Hope Calls' On GAC Family In Acting Return". Deadline. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  13. ^ Barnes, Jess. "Frndly TV Will Add GAC Channels on October 19 | Cord Cutters News". Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  14. ^ "Great American Country Unveils New Brand Identity". The Wall Street Journal. September 30, 2013., The Wall Street Journal, September 30, 2013
  15. ^ "GAC channel a perfect fit for National Finals Rodeo". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  16. ^ "After rift, Vegas rekindles 'lovefest' with NFR". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved December 8, 2014.

External links[edit]