Channeling the Faith: Gaither Music’s Music-Focused Christian TV Network Could Give Genre a Boost

Gaither TV Network

(from Billboard Magazine, September 13, 2013) Bill Gaither, a Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter and a Gospel Music Hall of Fame member, founded Gaither’s Music which has sold over 40 million albums to date. Gaither gathered that to efficiently reach his target audience he needed to branch out to television, a hardship in the past for Christian/gospel artists. Gaither Music has considered creating a Christian television network for quite some time, and after 20 years, VP Paul Sizelove says they are ready to take the leap. Openings on television networks for Christian/gospel artists are hard to come by, but Gaither Music will be able to offer more on-air opportunities by providing a 24-hour channel on Dish Network.
The launch date of the new network is September 16, and it will be available to Dish’s 14 million subscribers. Gaither Music is also trying to expand their coverage by reaching out to more cable and satellite operators.
The hope of Gaither Music’s television launch is to give more awareness of the Christian music genre and to stimulate interest in other Christian related businesses. Gospel Music Assn. Executive Director Jackie Patillo says, “The doors are opening wider for Christian/gospel artists to get on mainstream TV.” Most of the time this network’s content will be focused on the music, but it will have a firm Christian base. In fact, most of the music will come from Gaither Music itself.
Another expectation Gaither Music has for their new channel is to help the Christian market increase its sales. CD sales of all genres seem to have declined, and the Christian market especially has taken a huge hit to their CD sales. The anticipation is that by securing their television network, their launch event will help the overall genre grow. For example, Mary Mary’s catalogue sales increased by more than 300% after the two launched their reality show released on WE TV, (according to Mary Mary’s former manager, Mitchell Solarek of Maximum Artist). They are unsure if the network will have the same impact, but they expect to find out as time goes by.