Gospel Music Channel (GMC), the first 24-hour Christian network dedicated to all styles of gospel music, has been ranked as the No. 1 emerging or mid-size network among cable providers with large systems in large markets, according to the annual Beta Research Cable Operator Study.
Among other results, it also topped the list in two other categories: "audience attentiveness to advertising" and "feeling comfortable viewing with family."
The cable operator survey not only reveals the family-friendly aspect of the channel, but the growing popularity of the network as well, which has led to increased interest to increasing its range in the market.
"It is very gratifying and humbling that our vision to provide family-friendly entertainment programming with strong Christian values is being embraced on so many levels," expressed Charles Humbard, president and chief executive officer of GMC, in a statement. "We look forward to continued growth and success in the months ahead and pledge to our loyal viewers that we will continue to deliver the very best that Christian and gospel music have to offer."
According to the study, the music network placed ahead of many notable cable channels including The NFL Network, WE: Women's Entertainment, Soapnet, Hallmark Movie Channel, The Tennis Channel and Lifetime Real Women.
"It's gaining momentum," said Humbard to The Christian Post, "and it's picked as the number one channel to add, ahead of the NFL network and many, many others."
GMC has grown much since it began 28 months ago, becoming the largest producer of original Gospel and Christian music television in the world. The channel is watched in more than 100 markets in the United States, equating to more than 3,000 cities, and hopes to expand on this with a 50 percent increase in the upcoming year.
The network received its first Dove Award nomination, also known as the "Christian Grammy," this past February with its involvement as Casting Crowns' production company. GMC exclusively aired the group's hit album Lifesong Live.
In addition, the station is stepping up its quality by beginning to shoot programs in high definition. It recently shot a 10-artist production in HDTV in Nashville featuring many Christian stars including Michael W. Smith, Hawk Nelson, Family Force Five, KJ-52, and the Clark Sisters, who had their TV farewell.
In a recent letter written by multi-Grammy winner Kirk Franklin in a response to the network being discontinued in select cities, he had the following to say: "With all of the chaos and negativity in the world today, it is important that people, Christian and non-Christians alike, have outlets they can turn to such as Gospel Music Channel whose programming consistently speaks of the hope, peace and love of Christ in the midst of troubled times."