GAC Media Also Acquires RIDE TV; Industry Veteran Bill Abbott Recruited as CEO to Drive Growth for Iconic, Family-Focused Programming
DALLAS, June 7, 2021 — GAC Media, LLC, a newly-formed group of US-based investors today announced that it has acquired the Great American Country (“GAC”) Network from Discovery, Inc. GAC’s format includes lifestyle programming and is available in approximately 40 million television households. Contemporaneous with its acquisition of GAC, GAC Media has also acquired RIDE TV, a 24-hour, high-definition television network dedicated to showcasing equestrian sports, culture and lifestyle.
Together, GAC and RIDE TV constitute the first two channels in GAC Media’s larger effort to revitalize and invest in family-friendly programming that is both timeless and entertaining. Bill Abbott, an industry veteran who has operated and launched several cable channels that became highly profitable ratings leaders, especially in the area of Christmas content, will run GAC and RIDE TV moving forward as President & CEO. Among other key initiatives, Mr. Abbott will oversee a prompt review of additional content opportunities while leading growth initiatives in advertising and distribution.
Mr. Abbott commented, “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. 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.”
GAC Media was organized by Dallas-based Hicks Equity Partners LLC (“HEP”) and Mr. Abbott and includes US-based family offices. Deal terms for GAC and the RIDE TV acquisitions, both of which have closed, were not disclosed.
About Hicks Equity Partners LLC
Hicks Equity Partners LLC is the private equity arm of the Thomas O. Hicks family office. With more than 40 years of private equity experience, Mr. Hicks was an early pioneer of the “buy and build” strategy of investing and co-founded Hicks Muse Tate & Furst, which raised more than $12 billion of private equity across six funds and completed over $50 billion of leveraged acquisitions. HEP looks for established companies with proven track records, strong free cash flow characteristics, a strong competitive industry position and an experienced management team looking to partner with long-term capital.
About Discovery, Inc.
Discovery, Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is a global leader in real life entertainment, serving a passionate audience of superfans around the world with content that inspires, informs and entertains. Discovery delivers over 8,000 hours of original programming each year and has category leadership across deeply loved content genres around the world. Available in over 220 countries and territories and nearly 50 languages, Discovery is a platform innovator, reaching viewers on all screens, including TV Everywhere products such as the GO portfolio of apps; direct-to-consumer streaming services such as discovery+, Food Network Kitchen and MotorTrend OnDemand; digital-first and social content from Group Nine Media; a landmark natural history and factual content partnership with the BBC; and a strategic alliance with PGA TOUR to create the international home of golf. Discovery’s portfolio of premium brands includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, MotorTrend, Animal Planet, Science Channel, and the forthcoming multi-platform JV with Chip and Joanna Gaines, Magnolia Network, as well as OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in the U.S., Discovery Kids in Latin America, and Eurosport, the leading provider of 3 locally relevant, premium sports and Home of the Olympic Games across Europe. For more information, please visit corporate.discovery.com and follow @DiscoveryIncTV across social platforms.