Extending its relationship with the Gospel Music Association, Gospel Music Channel has signed a multiyear contract to become the exclusive TV home of the group’s Dove Awards.
The network will air the 39th annual GMA Dove Awards --nominees for which were announced today -- live from Nashville’s renowned Grand Ole Opry House on April 23 at 8 p.m. (ET).
Last year, Gospel Music Channel encored the 2007 Dove Awards, which have aired in national syndication, but have not been broadcast live since 2002.
Gospel Music Channel, which currently counts some 22 million subscribers, also announced that the American Bible Society is the presenting sponsor of the 2008 telecast, with an option to remain through the length of the agreement. The American Bible Society is also the designated charity of the 39th Annual GMA Dove Awards.
“Gospel/Christian Music’s biggest night now has a dedicated home on gospel/Christian Music fans’ favorite television network,” said GMC founder and president Charles Humbard in a statement. “Our relationship with the GMA dates back to the launch of Gospel Music Channel, including our licensing of the Dove’s library from which we produce our popular Best of The Doves series, and this is a natural next step.
Humbard said the network plans to leverage its association with the Dove Awards in a big way: “The Dove Awards live telecast will be a centerpiece of GMC’s schedule for years to come and we’ll build programming, marketing and public relations events around it to elevate it even further.”
Noted Gospel Music Association president and CEO: “Gospel Music Channel is the perfect partner for GMA and the Doves. We share a similar approach to presenting gospel music to the world and the Dove Awards is GMA’s primary vehicle in that endeavor. With their ever-increasing distribution, we are excited to grow the profile of the Dove Awards as the channel grows.”
In addition to the TV network deal, the Gospel Music Association also announced its nominations for the awards show at a press conference in Nashville, hosted by Dove and Grammy-winning artist Michael W. Smith and Elle Duncan, host of GMC’s The Kitchen Sink.
Nominated for the Dove Award for artist of the year: Casting Crowns, The Clark Sisters, Natalie Grant, Point Of Grace, Skillet, tobyMac and Chris Tomlin.
A complete list of the nominees can be read at www.doveawards.com