Rural Media Group's RFD-TV was dropped today by Comcast in Colorado and New Mexico, the programmer said before launching on-air ads promoting Dish Network as an alternative. Rural Media said the move affects 467,867 Colorado and 70,502 New Mexico customers who have received the network since 2010 on their D1 tier.
Dish -- which was the first multichannel distributor to carry RFD-TV, in 2000 -- also carries Rural Media's Rural TV and carries RFD in standard- and high-definition formats, the only carrier to offer that full array. They are part of a $5 "Heartland package" sold on top of Dish's $19.99 promotional package, RFD notes in the ad, which is also on YouTube (screenshot above). The ad does not directly address the Comcast drop.
Rural Media had previously claimed a total of 63 million subscribers for its two TV networks (it also recently launched the Rural Radio satellite channel on SiriusXM). Other distributors include DirecTV, Verizon FiOS TV, AT&T U-Verse, Mediacom, Charter, Optimum, Bright House Network, Suddenlink, Time Warner Cable and Cox. Multichannel News is seeking further clarification about Comcast's action. Messages to Comcast representatives were not immediately returned this afternoon. UPDATE: Cindy Parsons, vice president of external affairs for Comcast's West Division, acknowledged RFD-TV was removed from the lineup in Colorado and New Mexico but said Comcast has also been expanding high-definition offerings, adding such HD channels in Colorado as Disney Jr., Smithsonian Channel and Cooking Channel. "We are regularly evaluating the content we offer in all of our areas," she said.