New Networks Offer Family and Faith Fare

Up-logoEven with new streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, TV is far from dead. Cable, satellite and broadcast TV still deliver the biggest audiences and generate the most money for advertisers. But there are many new ways that viewers can get the programming they like, and faith-based entertainment is moving into these areas as well.

Let’s hope it’s the beginning of something good for this huge but often overlooked and underserved audience.

UP (once upon a time known as Gospel Music Channel) is rebranding itself as having a family focus. After ABC Family (now Freeform) went far afield in its notion of what constituted a “family,” I’m approaching this announcement with caution, but UP does have a history of being friendly to values-based viewers, so it’s worth a look.

From the inbox:

All in the Family!!

UP’s New Network Focus Fills Massive Void on Television

We Get Family Brand Campaign and Programming

Strategy Launches May 16th

ATLANTA, GA — At UP, We Get Family.  The network that celebrates family, in all its complexities, announced today its new branding and programming direction that showcases the most genuine and relatable moments and stories about family on television today.

Launching May 16, the new We Get Family tagline and mantra heralds new programming featuring the entertaining and authentic stories that bring adult viewers all of the fun, dysfunction and love that defines the modern American family.

“Our research identified that 42 million adults are looking for programming with family in mind.  With family as our framework, we are filling a void in the media landscape as the brand families trust most to bring them this positive programming,” said Charley Humbard, president and chief executive officer, UP.

“Our goal as a network is to bring our viewers the best shows about family – in every form – with the highs, lows and everything in between,” said Amy Winter, executive vice president and general manager, UP. “UP is devoted to telling stories about what matters most. We believe family, whether through blood, friendship or community, provides us with the most emotional and memorable experiences in our lives.”

Featuring those familiar experiences that make us smile and sometimes cringe, the We Get Family brand spots and creative are the launch pad for and focal point of a Memorial Day Weekend Family Block Party featuring some of UP’s most popular shows, as well as a national off-air campaign.  The weekend will culminate with the network premiere of the groundbreaking series Parenthood on Memorial Day at 8 PMET.  In total, the campaign that reflects UP’s brand personality includes over 50 :15 and :30 second spots that will begin rolling out Memorial Day weekend.

Family is the theme of UP’s more than 440 hours of original series, specials, movies and network acquisitions bowing in 2016. Targeted to adult women, UP programming includes: Growing Up McGhee; Small Town, Big Mayor; Jo Frost: Nanny on Tour; and the return of the hit series Bringing Up Bates. Recent series acquisitions that join the lineup and fit this new programming direction include Parenthood, the celebrated series Gilmore Girls and America’s Funniest Home Videos, among others.

UP’s adult targeted family content extends across multiple platforms with its subscription-on-demand offering, UP Faith & Family, which super serves an audience seeking family and faith-affirming content.And for the viewers who want to extend their interaction with the brand digitally, UP will offer a retooled and robust online site that provides an improved architecture for fans to get straight into content from their favorite shows, including episode extras and exclusives, as well as a more prominent schedule and channel finder. Additionally, UP’s pro-social initiative, “Uplift Someone,” reminds and inspires people that the simplest acts of kindness have the deepest impact. As part of this initiative, UP has produced four viral videos in the past year that have generated a combined over 138 million views to date.

At the same time, PureFlix, the company behind such faith-based movies as “God’s Not Dead,” is launching into the video-on-demand market.

From the inbox:

Pure Flix Acquires Video-On-Demand Service to Take the Lead in the Faith and Family Market 

Leading digital streaming platform I Am Flix SVOD to be rebranded as Pure Flix

Scottsdale, AZJune 4, 2015Pure Flix announces the acquisition of “I Am Flix” and the launch of their newly re-branded SVOD (subscription video on demand) service, available through the Pure Flix video-on-demand service, Subscribers of the SVOD can access the service through any browser, Roku, as well as the IOS or Android apps.

Pure Flix’s SVOD is taking the lead in serving the faith-based and family friendly content niche, currently streaming more than 2,000 faith and family movies, inspirational titles, TV shows, documentaries and biblical based educational programs.

Pure Flix’s SVOD will exclusively offer many of the Pure Flix titles (75+) including “Do You Believe?”, “Old Fashioned,” “Jerusalem Countdown,” as well as theatrical features, and production of original episodic programming. The platform will also feature a channel focused on spiritual growth content including bible-based teaching and sermons.

“We are excited to announce an innovative venture for Pure Flix that will provide more households the opportunity to view and enjoy more quality, life-affirming content with new and acquired content through on-demand and video streaming platforms,” said Pure Flix founding partner and producer, David A.R. White.

As a proven industry leader of high quality, inspiring movies and television programs, Pure Flix is a production and theatrical distribution company that offers family, inspirational and faith-based content. The acquisition of I Am Flix places Pure Flix at the lead of the OTT market for steaming services in the faith niche.

Pure Flix is on schedule to produce four theatricals per year while acquiring other quality films. Pure Flix released the best-selling film and DVD God’s Not Dead in 2014, and is anticipating the success of several theatrical releases in 2015 including Do You Believe?, Faith of Our Fathers, and Woodlawn.

Image: Courtesy UP

Visit the Family Theater Productions homepage and Facebook page to learn more about how FTP is reaching out to Hollywood and producing its own projects.