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GAC Extends Opry Deal

11/09/2005 5:18 AM Eastern

Great American Country’s deal to air Grand Ole Opry Live has been extended in a multiyear pact.

The Scripps Networks-owned service said the agreement boosts the number of Grand Ole Opry Live shows every year and includes plans to develop several new Opry-related programs going forward.

GAC said Monday that devoting October to the 80th anniversary of the Grand Ole Opry hiked its third-quarter ratings average 25% versus the same period last year.

“GAC's ability to showcase different genres of country music allows us to create new programming centered around the biggest brand in the industry, the Grand Ole Opry," GAC president Ed Hardy said in a prepared statement.

“We already know how popular Grand Ole Opry Live is with country-music fans, with viewership continuing to grow,” he added. “And over the past eight weeks, the response to GAC's ‘Opry Month’ programming and our joint effort with the Opry on the Hurricane Katrina benefit concert, Country Reaches Out, has proven that these viewers have a strong appetite for more.”

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