Rural America’s Most Important Network Celebrates a Decade and a Half of Growth Reconnecting City with Country
(NASHVILLE — Dec. 15, 2015) RFD-TV marked a fifteen-year milestone today celebrating a decade and a half on-air. The network originally launched in four million homes on Dec. 15, 2000 with DISH Network. Now available nationwide in more than 50 million homes, RFD-TV has expanded to not only DISH, but also cable providers such as DIRECTV, Mediacom, Charter, Verizon FiOS, AT&T, Bright House, Cox, Time Warner, Suddenlink, Cable ONE, Sky Angel and Optimum. RFD-TV’s owner and founder, Patrick Gottsch, reminisced about the fifteen-year journey on this historic day on its award winning, signature news program Market Day Report.
Fifteen years ago, Gottsch, an professional satellite installer, quickly recognized the need for rural entertainment and programming. After building one of the largest satellite installation companies in the U.S., Gottsch decided to dedicate his resources full-time to create a 24-hour rural television network. Rural Media Group, Inc. has continued to expand to include RFD-TV The Magazine (2003), RFD-TV The Theatre (2007), RFD HD (2008), RURAL TV (2009) and most recently RURAL RADIO (2013) on SiriusXM channel 147.
“It’s been a fun journey. This started in my living room with my two daughters on the floor doing their homework. After 12 years of struggling, we finally launched on Dec. 2000 at 1:00 p.m. CT. I had a DISH Network system in my house and boom, there was RFD-TV. It was a big moment,” stated Gottsch. “It happened naturally. There were a lot of programmers out there that were hunting for a place to put rural programming, equine programming, and agricultural programming that weren’t being carried in their local markets.”
Gottsch went on to say, “The network is fortunate in that people who shared our passion for rural America and agriculture were just drawn to this, like a magnet. Everything lined up thanks to Charlie Ergen at DISH who shared our vision and invested in a transponder to let us get started. Then DIRECTV came on board a few years later. Jim Odle at Superior Livestock Auctions was a big part of our history and invested a lot in us in those formative years when we needed money. Bob Phillips at Texas Country Reporter invited me to use his studios at night when he wasn’t using them. But if there’s anyone I should thank, number one it would be my daughters. They’ve been with me every step of the way.”
Overall, Gottsch gives credit to the loyal and highly engaged RFD-TV audience. “It’s been the viewers that have been the one consistent part through all this, subscribing to the magazine when we first launched that 2004, writing to the FCC, encouraging advertisers to support us. Friends telling friends and neighbors telling neighbors. We didn’t have any money to market the channel those first years, but we grew to 10 million viewers weekly that first year,” said Gottsch. “We had one goal when we launched, and that was to serve the interests and needs of rural America. But a second goal has always been to reconnect city with country. We’re making great strides in getting on urban cable systems. We launched on AT&T last year and Charter and Mediacom this year. We just broke 50 million homes in cable and 27 million on Rural Radio. It’s been quite a journey in 15.”
ABOUT RURAL MEDIA GROUP:
Rural Media Group, Inc. is the world’s leading provider of multimedia content dedicated to the rural and Western lifestyle. With a mission of reconnecting “city with country,” RMG is the parent company of RFD-TV, RURAL RADIO, FamilyNet, and RFD-TV The Magazine. RMG networks are distributed to more than 100 million homes worldwide by DBS, telco and cable systems including DISH Network, DIRECTV®, Comcast, AT&T U-Verse, Mediacom, Charter Spectrum, Suddenlink, Cox, and more than 600 independent rural cable systems. Corporate headquarters and broadcast operations are in Nashville, Tennessee.
RFD-TV is the flagship network for Rural Media Group. Launched in December 2000, RFD-TV is the nation’s first 24-hour television network featuring programming focused on the agribusiness, equine and the rural lifestyle, along with traditional country music and entertainment. RFD-TV produces six hours of live news each weekday in support of rural America and is a leading independent cable channel available in more than 50 million homes.
ABOUT RURAL RADIO:
Found exclusively on SiriusXM channel 147, this is the agribusiness and Western-lifestyle channel for the U.S. and Canada. RURAL RADIO’s program schedule revolves around original productions focused on agriculture, equine, hunting, fishing, Western sports, and living the country life in small towns around rural America. Broadcast operations for the station are located in Nashville, Tennessee. The channel airs multiple exclusive series including “MARKET DAY REPORT,” “RURAL EVENING NEWS,” “RURAL AMERICA LIVE,” and “WESTERN SPORTS ROUND-UP,” as well as “Outside the Barrel,” with Flint Rasmussen, “Commodity Wrap,” with Marlin Bohling, “AgPhD,” “RealAg Radio,” “AgDay,” “FFA Today,” and “Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World.” RURAL RADIO also carries live broadcasts of Western sports competitions such as the PBR, PRCA rodeos, and WPCA Chuckwagon races.
FamilyNet is America’s trusted entertainment network dedicated to providing wholesome and responsible viewing choices for today’s diverse family.
RFD-TV The Magazine is the print programming guide for the networks. It has attracted more than 180,000 paid subscribers.
PR@rfdtv.com, (615) 296-9332