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Discovery Sells Great American Country Network to New Group Led by Ex-Hallmark Channel CEO

Michael King

Discovery has peeled off its Great American Country network, aimed at country music fans, to a newly formed Dallas-based group — GAC Media.

The GAC linear network is available in about 40 million households across the nation and its programming includes lifestyle programming. At the same time, GAC Media said that it has picked up RIDE TV, a network geared toward showcasing equestrian sports and culture.

While terms of the deal were not disclosed, the move comes on the heels of Discovery and AT&T’s giant deal to create the new Warner Bros. Discovery, to be led by Discovery CEO David Zaslav.

Ex-Crown Media CEO Bill Abbot will run GAC Media as part of what, in a statement, he called the start of a home for family-friendly programming options.

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discovery+ is a video streaming service that offers more than 55,000 episodes of 2,500+ current and classic shows from several popular TV brands including Discovery, Investigation Discovery, HGTV, TLC, Food Network, A&E, Lifetime, and History.

The service primarily focuses on non-fiction programming or “reality” TV shows.

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“Consumer interest in family-friendly programming that enriches lives and offers safe entertainment options remains as strong as ever,” Abbot said. “GAC and RIDE TV represent cornerstone assets in this respect, and we look forward to growing both channels even as we pursue the larger goal of establishing new, well-resourced, and engaging family-friendly programming.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Abbot left Crown Media Networks in January 2020 after Hallmark Channel removed a commercial that featured a same-sex couple.

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