Recently, GAC Family has made a lot of headline news with the signing of two Hallmark stars, Danica McKellar in an exclusive contract, as well as Trevor Donovan. In addition, Hearties are ecstatic over the return of Lori Loughlin and Daniel Lissing to the When Hope Calls Christmas special.
How are the ratings now that GAC Family has finally premiered their first Christmas movie? Are they beating out GAC Media CEO Bill Abbott’s former employer, Hallmark?
GAC Family Ratings Released
Now that GAC Family has officially competed Christmas movie against Christmas movie, how did they stack up? According to @SleepyKittyPaw, who shares all things Christmas on their social media channel, Hallmark’s Coyote Creek Christmas solidly beat out GAC Family’s Much Ado About Christmas. Both aired Saturday night, both at 8 p.m. Eastern.
Using data from ShowBuzzDaily, the Ryan Paevey-Janel Parrish Christmas movie was the fifth most-watched movie of 2021, with 2.35 million viewers. What about their new competition?
She shared on Twitter why the GAC Family movie didn’t even make the list. “One more note on GAC’s ratings…While they finished too low to have specific publicly available numbers, 30,000-50,000 total viewers, which looks to be where they are now, is the same range Great American Country was getting with home show reruns before switch over to GAC Family.”
Although these numbers do not compete with Hallmark, they do compare to what the former network was pulling. The branding change is an uphill battle. Although anything with Ryan Paevey always is a hit on Hallmark, the numbers are not even close. What could be the reason why?
Viewers Still Cannot Find GAC Family Movies
One of the biggest challenges that GAC Family seems to have with numbers is that their viewers cannot find the network on their package. Although TV Shows Ace and other media outlets have shared information on how to watch GAC Family, there appears to still be issues finding the network.
On Tuesday, GAC Family went to Instagram to help. They shared a number where a customer service agent can assist viewers in getting their content. On the post they wrote, “Have you found #GACFamilyTV in your provider’s channel lineup? We can help! Call our toll-free channel finder Hotline at 1-855-701-2804 for more information! #StoriesWellTold #GreatAmericanChristmas ✔️”
Some of the questions on that social media post included “My cable service does not have GAC channel.” To which GAC replied, “To supplement your current service, for as little as $5.99 a month, #GACfamilyTV is offered through a skinny bundle on FrndlyTV and Philo.”
Another viewer had a question about Hulu. “Where is it on Hulu? I have Hulu Live and can’t find it.” GAC offered a solution, “Hulu Live TV offers GAC Family in their channel lineup with Hulu’s Live Entertainment package! If you still require assistance, finding #GACFamilyTV, we’re here to help! Call our toll-free number 855-701-2804!”
One problem is Verizon. Several people asked about it, and GAC responded, “We are working on getting #GACfamilyTV added to Verizon. You can help by calling. Otherwise, we recommend a skinny bundle such as FrndlyTV or Philo.”
Have you found #GACFamilyTV in your provider's channel lineup? We can help! Call our toll-free channel finder Hotline at 1-855-701-2804 for more information! #StoriesWellTold #GreatAmericanChristmas ✔️ pic.twitter.com/C65iCwX0k4
— GAC Family (@GACfamilyTV) November 1, 2021
Some Viewers Are Loving The First Of 12 Movies Of Christmas
Although GAC Family is still trying to help viewers find their channel, some have managed to tune in. For example, one viewer on this same social media thread found the channel and enjoyed the content. “FUBO Tv has it but needed to add on the $5 a month. Glad I did. First Christmas 🎄 show was fabulous.”
That first of the 12 Movies Of Christmas is Much Ado About Christmas. This movie stars a very talented cast with Susie Abromeit (Jessica Jones, Battle Los Angeles), Torrance Coombs (The Tudors, Reign), and James Rottger (The Break, Gary Tank Commander). Moreover, it was directed by Michael Damian, who directed Hallmark’s number one Christmas movie in 2020, Christmas Waltz.
The Young and The Restless alum, “Rock On” singer, and now director, had been developing the idea for Much Ado About Christmas for Hallmark for a while. However, when Bill Abbott left, it appears that Hallmark was no longer interested. Instead, when Abbott started GAC Media, that movie got picked up and it kicked off their holiday movies.
If you look at Michael Damian’s social media, you can see that viewers loved the content. Hopefully, viewers will soon be able to find the channel.
@michaeldamian1 @JaneenDamian I LOVED #MuchAdoAboutChristmas @GACfamilyTV ! You have the magic touch! You deliver beauty, romance, joy and love in such a meaningful way! I'm so happy for you!!! Everyone needs to see and experience the JOY felt in this movie! I LOVED it! pic.twitter.com/mST7JP88Jp
— ChristmasWaltz-TV (@ChristmaswaltzT) October 31, 2021
GAC Media Started Cable Network During Streaming Revolution
Anyone who has been following the whole cord-cutting phenomenon may not be surprised that there are viewership issues. For example, Twitter’s @SleepyKittyPaw had pointed out that cable broadcast viewership, in general, is 16 percent lower than last year. Hallmark had seen some movies lose 17 percent of their viewership.
What is the alternative? Instead of cable, people are streaming. Wednesday’s Deadline report that Discovery+ now has 20 million subscribers is an indication that even a strong cable network needs to offer streaming. The channel that brings reality shows like Deadliest Catch and Gold Rush offer streaming incentives for viewers including dropping episodes early, and special programming.
Could GAC Media follow Discovery’s lead?
That may be wiser than what Hallmark seems to be doing with Hallmark Now. Although this holiday season will for the first time include two, including Every Time A Bell Rings, of the 41 new Christmas movies on their streaming network. Although it is wonderful that Goodies can stream the full Good Witch catalog, many of the fan-favorite movies that fans want to stream are not available.
Christmas movie fans should be interested to see how GAC Family’s movies will fare once both Hallmark and Lifetime are both airing Christmas movies during the weekends. Moreover, it is a safe bet that Bill Abbott is quickly learning that in 2021, building up a cable audience is a very different experience.
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