Great American Country has a new signature series that executives hope will
serve as a calling card for added distribution.
The Jones Media Networks channel, which is now in some 25 million homes,
secured the rights to Grand Ole Opry Live, the televised one-hour portion
of the venerable country-music radio show from Nashville, Tenn.
The show has been on larger rival Country Music Television following a shift
a couple of years back from The Nashville Network, which is now known as Spike
TV. It has been one of CMT’s top-rated shows.
Beginning Oct. 4 with a Patsy Cline tribute, GAC will present Grand Ole
Opry Live at 8 p.m. (EST) each Saturday night. The premiere will be followed
by five encores -- three on the weekend and a pair on Tuesday nights.
"We will have the Grand Ole Opry Live for the foreseeable future," GAC
president Jeff Wayne said of the multiyear deal.
Both GAC and CMT acknowledged that negotiations with Opry owner Gaylord
Entertainment Co. had been lengthy. Neither side would reveal financial terms or
comment on whether GAC had outbid its rival.
CMT -- which has been scaling back video offerings in favor of more long-form
programming -- stuck to a statement: "The contract between CMT and Gaylord
Entertainment for the Opry telecast has reached the end of its term. CMT
and Gaylord Entertainment negotiated for a new term, but an agreement was not