Cable Operators

Black Family Channel-Gospel Music Channel Deal Is Official

5/01/2007 3:50 AM Eastern

Making it official, Black Family Channel closed its deal to cease operations as a linear cable channel, shifting its distribution slots to Gospel Music Channel.

As a result of the agreement between the two networks and a number of cable operators, Gospel replaced BFC in a majority of its markets, including New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Los Angeles, St. Louis and San Francisco.

Gospel is gaining carriage on nearly 275 systems from Bright House Networks, Charter Communications, Comcast, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable.

The new launches drive Gospel into all 10 of the top 10 markets and 23 of the top 25. The channel expects to finish the year with more than 20 million subscribers.

Beginning Tuesday, Gospel is available on: Bright House systems in Tampa, Fla., and Bakersfield, Calif.; Charter in St. Louis; Comcast in markets including Philadelphia, Miami, Boston, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Denver, Houston, Pittsburgh and Sacramento, Calif.; Cox systems in Hampton Roads and Roanoke, Va., and Omaha, Neb.; and Time Warner systems in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Kansas City, San Diego, northeast and southwest Ohio, Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C., and others.

“The mission of Black Family Channel was to entertain, inform and empower communities with family programming that was original, authentic and relevant,” BFC founder and chairman Willie Gary said in a prepared statement. “We have concluded that the best way for us to accomplish that mission via television is to support Gospel Music Channel.”

He added, “Gospel Music Channel embodies BFC’s values, but does so on a broader, multicultural scale. GMC presents the greatest opportunity for us to advance our goals of serving the family in the multicultural community. We strongly endorse these launches of GMC and encourage our community of black leadership, colleges and churches to support Gospel Music Channel and the cable companies that carry it.”

BFC is expected to move its programming onto the Internet.

“We are thrilled with the endorsement from BFC and the cable industry,” Gospel founder and president Charles Humbard said in a prepared statement. “With Gospel Music Channel in so many new markets, millions of new subscribers can now enjoy our inspirational, family-friendly music entertainment.”

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