Name relaunch further signifies the net’s movement away from gospel music as a programming initiative. (GMC originally stood for “Gospel Music Channel” when the cable network launched in 2004.) “Up” is meant to indicate the cabler as the destination for “uplifting entertainment.”
Up brand will launch officially on Sept. 1.
“From the day we launched the network we have delivered on our unique brand promise to provide uplifting entertainment for viewers who want programming that supports their family values,” explained Charles Humbard, prexy of the net. “Up is a fun, fresh name that embodies our unique brand position… According to our research, non viewers’ intent to view more than doubles with the new name Up, thus increasing our unique value to our cable and advertising partners.”
While GMC has maintained a faith-based undertone to its programming, the cabler has shied away from explicitly identifying itself as a religious net, opting instead for jargon like “uplifting,” “positive” and “family values.” Rebranding is yet another step away from the religious fare that the net was known for during its initial launch as the destination for gospel music.
Movement towards broader appeal is serving the network well. GMC wrapped 2012 as its best year ever in ratings in key demo women 25-54, where numbers were boosted 80%. Net is currently available in over 60 million homes.