UP Inks NCTC Distribution Deal

UP's distribution stock just went up.

The independent programmer has inked a multiyear distribution agreement with the National Cable Television Cooperative. Under terms of the master agreement, the nearly 1,000 NCTC members can sign on to carry both the standard- and high-definition feeds of the network, as well as video-on-demand content in both formats.  The pact, financial terms of which were not disclosed, will also encompass the network's "TV Everywhere" services in the near future. 

The NCTC deal with UP, which counts some 70 million subscribers, does not pertain to ASPIRE, the Magic Johnson-owned service for which UP handles affiliate and ad sales.

“Through this agreement, UP will be made available to all NCTC member systems, further expanding our channel’s reach, but also making our full slate of trustworthy family-friendly programming available to communities of all sizes across the country,” said Hal Rosenberg, senior vice president of content distribution and marketing at UP. “We are delighted to be working with everyone at the NCTC to spread the word about UP’s positive, inspiring and entertaining programming.” 

The news about the Co-op affiliate contract follows the exit of vice chairman Brad Siegel, who helped start the network, then known as Gospel Music Channel, with president Charlie Humbard in 2004. Humbard said the service hopes to find a successor to Siegel, a former Turner and AMC executive, soon.

Subscribers to those NCTC members that sign up with UP will be able to watch 500 hours of uplifting holiday fare under the "Everything You Love About Christmas" banner. Highlights include UP original telefilms and world premiere movies, Naughty & Nice (Sunday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. (ET),Paper Angels (Sunday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m.), The Tree That Saved Christmas (Sunday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m.), Marry Us For Christmas (Sunday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m.), Nativity! (Saturday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m.)Nativity! 2: Danger in the Manger (Saturday, Nov. 29 at 9 p.m.), 12 Dog Days Till Christmas (Friday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m.),Christmas in Palm Springs (Sunday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m.) andThe Christmas Tree Miracle (Wednesday, Nov. 26 at 9 p.m.).