So Long FamilyNet, Hello The Cowboy Channel!


The Cowboy Channel

Who in their right mind starts a new cable television channel in this day and age of limited bandwidth, changing audience viewing habits, and reduced spending by advertisers across the board? We do!!!!

This issue of the magazine is pretty much dedicated to announcing changing FamilyNet to allow for the launch our new network, The Cowboy Channel, and the reasoning behind such a decision. I hope that you will find this explanation satisfactory, and that you will check out this one-of-a kind western sports/lifestyle channel when it debuts in July.

First of all, before going any further, I want to thank everyone that has supported FamilyNet over the past several years, starting with the folks at Sony Pictures Television who provided the majority of the programming from their vast library, and the Sony sales staff that worked so hard to format the network and sell advertising on the channel in support of its operations. I truly appreciate all Sony’s efforts, which resulted in doubling and tripling the Nielsen ratings for the network from our original format due to their great programming and attention. I especially appreciate everyone at Sony for their professional attitude and support in allowing for the smooth transition of FamilyNet to The Cowboy Channel at this time.

Of course, I want to thank the FamilyNet audience and fans that have been such dedicated viewers since our purchase of that channel back in 2012. We get it. No one likes change and I believe that we tried everything possible to make the classic sitcom format work. Its no one’s fault. FamilyNet is simply a casualty of a changing television landscape where sitcoms are now being aired by so many other channels, creating much competition for viewers and advertisers seeking such programming. I know that changing our format is not going to really inconvenience anyone, as the same shows being removed are available from a variety of sources, both “free” over-the-air and on other cable/satellite channels.

I could not be more confident that launching The Cowboy Channel is the right thing for us to do at this time. Our only expertise, if we have one, is in programming and airing rural content. We are good at it, if I do say so myself. Its in our comfort zone. Having a network that airs great nostalgic sitcoms is something that the other guys do well. More power to them. I like watching them myself.

Again, I hope that you tune into The Cowboy Channel and like what you see. If you do, be sure to tell a friend or neighbor about this new network, as that is how RFD-TV got started nearly 16 years ago. I’m proud of everyone in our company, and all the hard work that has went into developing western sports programming on RFD-TV and RURAL RADIO over the past several years to the point where it can support its own channel. The time is right to launch a network that honors, and is in tribute, to the American cowboy. God Bless America.

Patrick Gottsch