Rural Media Group has announced that its FamilyNet cable television network will be rebranded “The Cowboy Channel” effective July 1. Programming will shift from airing the nostalgic and popular comedy sitcoms of the 70’s & 80’s to being anchored by western sports and everything that encompasses the popular western lifestyle.
At launch, “The Cowboy Channel” will enjoy distribution into over 30 million homes on cable/satellite systems which carried FamilyNet, and will grow from that great foundation of being on DISH Network channel 232, AT&T U-Verse channel 566, Charter Spectrum channel 468, and selected Cox, Comcast, Mediacom, and many rural cable systems. In addition, “The Cowboy Channel” will have an aggressive Over-the-Top (OTT) strategy through its cable partners and offer the service on digital platforms including Amazon Fire Stick, Hulu, Roku, Apple TV and others which will allow viewing on mobile devices, iPads, computers, and wireless devices.
“When RMG originally purchased FamilyNet in 2012, it was our intention to make it a western lifestyle channel to compliment the rural programming on RFD-TV,” stated Patrick Gottsch, founder & president of Rural Media Group. “At that time, we just didn’t pull the trigger as I was uncomfortable that there was enough original programming or interest to support such a full-time independent channel and decided that RFD-TV was able to handle the demand. However, over the past four years, we have been able to prove the viability for such a channel lead by the success of RFD-TV’s The American, which has developed a strong track record of Nielsen ratings and built tremendous sponsor/advertiser support for our yearly rodeo at AT&T Stadium. In addition, the popularity of western sports for both participants and audiences continues to grow as evidenced by our daily Western Sports Roundup on SiriusXM radio, and the Western Sports Wednesday prime-time programming now featured each week on RFD-TV.”
“The Cowboy Channel” name was chosen because of the iconic image that the American cowboy enjoys not only in America, but throughout the world. Say the word “cowboy” and people already have a recognition and expectation on what would or should be on such a channel. It immediately congers up so many different associations with different people for the western lifestyle – cowgirls, rodeo, ranching, music, horses, cattle, environmentalist, family, hard work, tradition – the list goes on and on. All will be featured on the network and provides an almost endless list of topics and programming to build upon.