Patrick Gottsch's Rural Media, parent of 40-million-subscriber U.S. cable network RFD-TV, on March 2 launched Rural TV on satellite-TV provider Sky in the United Kingdom. It also plans to add additional U.K. homes later this month with a launch on the FreeSat platform.
Rural TV - which gains a platform of 8 million U.K. homes via channel 281 on News Corp.-owned Sky - is described as the world's first 24-hour international television network dedicated to crossing borders with farming, equine, rural lifestyle, and traditional country music entertainment programs. Rural TV's reach extends into 20 countries in Western Europe via satellite.
"We are most excited about these opportunities as we firmly believe that ‘rural' has no borders," Gottsch said in a statement scheduled for release today.
Rural Media would not disclose carriage terms, including whether it is paying for the satellite carriage or is being paid a license fee.
Country Channel TV (CCTV) is the primary programming resource for local U.K. programming, providing two hours of time in each six-program block, with half-hour daily segments further devoted to the categories of farming, equestrian, country pursuits, and country kaleidoscope. CCTV programming is featured 56 hours each week in the Rural TV schedule, including weekday primetime hours of 8-10 p.m.
Parelli Natural Horsemanship is scheduled to be the first show at launch. Other programs include California Country, Classic Tractor Showcase, Wide World of Horses, Trains and Locomotives, Brazil Ag Report, Prairie Farm Report and Cumberland Highlanders.