Great American Country
|Great American Country|
|Launched||December 31, 1995|
|Time Warner Cable||295 (HD)|
Great American Country (or GAC) is an American digital cable and satellite television network that is owned by Scripps Networks Interactive. Based in Knoxville, Tennessee, the channel features country music programming including music videos, music performance specials and live concerts, along with country lifestyle entertainment and original lifestyle programming.
As of February 2015, GAC is available to approximately 59,547,000 television households (51.2% of cable, satellite and telco customers) in the United States.
The channel was launched on December 31, 1995, with the first music video to be broadcast on the channel, Garth Brooks' "The Thunder Rolls". 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" 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.
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. Two days later, however, the dispute was resolved.
On October 1, 2013, the network unveiled a new brand identity and dropped its "GAC" acronym in favor of using the Great American Country name in full. The network also unveiled a new logo, and announced that it will begin broadcasting in high definition. The network expanded beyond its country music roots with programs that chronicle families and American lifestyle themes.
Country music comprises at least 50 percent of Great American Country’s programming, but the channel also features an emphasis on programs celebrating American culture.
The network’s original programming includes, 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 Motor Homes, featuring different celebrities showcasing their motor homes. The network also televises the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
With the channel's rebranding, the daily music video show Daily Countdown was renamed Great American Playlist. Top 20 Country Countdown continues to air each week and the network still offers country music specials including, Backstory, Introducing and Origins.
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- Hot & Happening: Breakout Networks - 31 October 2005 - Broadcasting & Cable
- AT&T's U-verse Drops Food Network, HGTV and Other Scripps Networks, Chicago Tribune, November 5, 2010
- Food Network, HGTV, Back on U-verse, Chicago Tribune, November 7, 2010
- AT&T U-verse, Scripps Reconnect on Carriage Contract, MultiChannel News, November 7, 2010
- "Great American Country Unveils New Brand Identity". The Futon Critic. October 1, 2013.
- "Great American Country Broadens Expanse"., MediaPost News, October 2, 2013
- Watts, Cindy (October 2, 2013). "GAC announces rebranding, programming changes". The Tennessean.
- "Great American Country Unveils New Brand Identity". The Wall Street Journal. September 30, 2013., The Wall Street Journal, September 30, 2013
- "Rodeo Stars Thrill Packed House"., Amarillo Globe-News, September 18, 2013
- "GAC Announces Rebranding Changes"., The Tennessean, October 2, 2013