Discovery Sells Great American Country To Investor Group With Former Crown Media Chief Bill Abbott As CEO

GAC Media, a newly-formed group of U.S. investors, has acquired the Great American Country network, a staple of country music fans, from Discovery for an undisclosed price.

Contemporaneous with the deal, GAC Media also acquired Ride TV, a 24-hour, high-definition network for equestrian sports, culture and lifestyle. It said theses mark its first two investments in family-friendly programming. Privately-held Ride Television Network is based in Fort Worth, Texas.

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GAC Media was formed by Dallas-based Hicks Equity Partners and television veteran Bill Abbott and includes U.S.-based family offices. Hicks Equity Partners is the private equity arm of the Thomas O. Hicks family office.

Abbot is the former CEO of Crown Media Family Networks, parent of Hallmark Channel. He will run the new venture as as president and CEO, exploring content opportunities and leading growth initiatives in advertising and distribution.

The acquisition of Great American County follows Discovery’s plans announced last month to merge with WarnerMedia.

“Even as the entertainment ecosystem continues to rapidly evolve – both in terms of distribution platforms and underlying content – consumer interest in family friendly programming that enriches lives and offers safe entertainment options remains as strong as ever,” said Abbott. GAC and RIDE TV represent cornerstone assets in this respect, and we look forward to growing both channels even as we pursue the larger goal of establishing new, well-resourced and engaging family-friendly programming.”

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