The first and only 24-hour Christian network dedicated to all styles of gospel music will be broadcasting the opening concert for the premiere of the film Evan Almighty, which is due out in theatres June 22.
The "Rock the Boat" Concert was held on Monday at Universal's Gibson Amphitheater in Universal City, Calif., just outside Hollywood, and featured four of Christian rock's most recognizable bands - Switchfoot, Relient K, Jeremy Camp, and DecembeRadio. Gospel Music Channel (GMC)'s broadcast of the star-studded event will take place Saturday and will be played seven more times throughout the week up to the release date of the Bruce Almighty sequel.
"The unique bond that GMC has with its audience represents a solid opportunity for advertisers and studios to seed word-of-mouth marketing efforts," explained Barbara Bekkedahl, vice president of advertising sales at GMC, in a statement. "We are delighted to be working with Universal to help promote the premiere of this major theatrical release."
The upcoming family-friendly movie is based off the story of Noah found in Genesis in which the biblical figure must build an ark to save himself from a global flood that will wipe out all humanity.
In this modernized version of the story, Evan Baxter (played by Steve Carell), who was Bruce (Jim Carrey)'s arch rival news anchor in the first film, returns as a recently-elected Congressman who now finds himself moving his whole family down to suburban northern Virginia. To his surprise, he is paid a visit by God (Morgan Freeman) who gives him a mandate to build an ark of biblical proportions.
"The flood's coming and I want you, Evan Baxter, to build an ark," says "God" in the upcoming film.
Among his demanding work, he begins the monumental task of building the giant vessel and his family must distinguish whether Evan is just going through a mid-life crisis or whether he actually received a command from "the Big Guy."
The film is being heavily marketed to the faith community over its Old Testament ties and its clean humor.
The recent "Rock the Boat" event was unique for a mainstream Hollywood film, featuring only faith-based bands, with two of them being crossover sensations as well (Switchfoot, Relient K).
Besides its role among the premier, the concert was also a benefit for Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI), a nonprofit Christian housing ministry that builds houses for the needy. Its mission is to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world.
In addition to premiering the concert, GMC will also be producing special news segments on the concert to go along with the GMC Insider series, which goes behind the scenes to get a close up look at Christian personalities and events.
Since its launch three years ago, GMC has seen large growth. According to the annual Beta Research Cable Operator Study released in mid-March, the channel was the No. 1 emerging or mid-size network among cable providers with large systems in large markets. It also led in two categories: "audience attentiveness to advertising" and "feeling comfortable viewing with family."