Gospel Net Gears Up With Cable Veterans

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Cable veterans Charles Humbard and Brad Siegel are combining their talents to launch a new gospel music-based service set to bow this fall.

Atlanta-based Gospel Music Channel will feature music videos, concerts and events from a number of gospel-music genres, including rock, country, adult contemporary, praise and worship and inspirational.

The network is hoping to tap into the fast-growing gospel-music business. More than 80 million people listen to gospel music in the United States, and total record sales have grown 62% between 1996 and 2001, according to the network.

“Gospel music has a large and passionate fan base, which is critical to launching a new service,” said Siegel, formerly president of Turner Broadcasting System Inc.’s entertainment networks.

The network has already signed a digital-basic carriage agreement with Cox Communications Inc., said Humbard, who most recently served as senior vice president and general manager at Discovery Networks U.S.

He added that the network is offering a license-fee based rate card, although he would not reveal specific details.

Private-equity firms Alpine Equity Partners LP and Constellation Ventures will finance the independently owned network, although neither Siegel nor Humbard would disclose its startup costs.

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