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RFD TV.svg
LaunchedDecember 1, 2000; 19 years ago (2000-12-01)
Owned byPatrick Gottsch
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
SloganRural America's most important network
CountryUnited States
Broadcast areaUnited States
HeadquartersOmaha, Nebraska
Sister channel(s)The Cowboy Channel
Digital terrestrial televisionChannel 34.1 (Alexandria, Minnesota)
Channel 22.3 (Córtez, Colorado)
Channel 9.1 (Trinidad, Colorado)
DirecTVChannel 345 (HD)
Dish NetworkChannel 231 (HD)
C-Band - H2H/4DTVAMC 18 - 226
C-Band - Free-To-AirAMC-1 Freq: 3915 SR: 4410 FEC: 2/3 QPSK
Available on some cable providersChannel slots vary on each operator
AT&T U-verseChannel 568 (SD)
Channel 1568 (HD)
Streaming media
RFD-TV Nowwww.watchrfdtv.com
Sling TVInternet Protocol television
DirecTV NowInternet Protocol television

RFD-TV is an American pay television channel that is owned by Patrick Gottsch, through the Rural Media Group. The channel features programming devoted to rural issues, concerns and interests. The channel's name is a reference to Rural Free Delivery, the name for the United States Postal Service's system of delivering mail directly to rural patrons. Production and uplinking facilities for RFD-TV are located at Northstar Studios in Nashville, Tennessee, while the channel's corporate & national sales office is based in Omaha, Nebraska. RFD-TV's sister radio station is Sirius XM's Rural Radio.[1] RFD-TV also owns a theater in Branson, Missouri where some variety shows that air on RFD-TV are filmed, as well as the Imus Ranch in Ribera, New Mexico.[2]

As of February 2015, RFD-TV is available to approximately 52 million pay television households (44.8% of households with television) in the United States.[3] It is currently carried by satellite providers Dish Network and DirecTV, as well as through cable providers such as Mediacom, Charter Communications, Cox Communications and Armstrong.[4][5] It is not available in most Comcast markets; Comcast dropped the channel in many of its Western markets in 2013.[6] In addition to its subscription coverage, RFD-TV is offered as an Internet television feed; the feed is currently paywalled and requires a paying subscription. In March 2020, RFD-TV launched a streaming app RFD-TV Now, making RFD-TV programming available on tablets, phones, and connected TVs.[7] It was added to Sling TV on April 4, 2017 as part of the "Heartland Extra" add-on service.[8] RFD TV is also available as part of the 'Live A Little' package offered by DirecTV Now. With an average of 136,000 viewers in 2016, RFD-TV has some of the highest viewership relative to availability compared to other "ultra-niche" networks with similar or wider distribution owned by major corporations.[9]


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.

As of 2017, RFD-TV operates on a full-service format. Mornings and the early part of daytime feature syndicated newsmagazines and a five-hour block of news, weather (forecasting services on the network are outsourced to The Weather Channel) and agricultural commodity market prices, in the basic format of an American cable news outlet. An additional newscast airs during the evening hours. The remainder of the daytime and evening schedule consists of horse-related magazines, coverage of rodeo and other Western sports, rural lifestyle programs, reruns of classic television programs with rural appeal, and music programs centered around country music, polka and Southern gospel.

Infomercials, which were previously publicly banned from the network, appear during the overnight hours. The network also features brokered programming in the form of its call-in program Rural America Live, and brokered televangelism from Charles Stanley, David Jeremiah and John Hagee.

A Canadian version of the channel was launched on February 1, 2020 on Shaw Direct television systems through a partnership with Rural Media.


RFD-HD is a high definition feed of RFD-TV that broadcasts in the 1080i resolution format. For several years it featured its own schedule of all-HD programming before consolidating with the main RFD-TV as a simulcast, and eventually as the main feed with RFD-TV's standard definition feed being downscaled at a provider's headend. The channel first began broadcasting in high definition in the fall of 2007.[10]


Imus in the Morning[edit]

When Don Imus returned to radio in late 2007, following his firing by WFAN radio in New York City after being accused of making misogynistic and racially insensitive comments about African American players on the Rutgers University college basketball team, Imus had also struck a deal to simulcast Imus in the Morning on RFD-TV after moving to WABC for the rest of his career. The program was broadcast on the channel from 6 to 9 a.m. Eastern Time on weekdays, along with a primetime telecast of the program on its high definition simulcast channel RFD-HD. During much of the show's run, a news ticker was shown with the day's news, similar to that featuring when Imus in the Morning was simulcast on MSNBC. The video simulcast of the program ended its run on RFD-TV on August 28, 2009, and moved to Fox Business Network several weeks later.[11]

After Imus's retirement, RFD-TV owner Patrick Gottsch purchased Imus's 3,000-acre ranch.[2]

The Big Joe Polka Show[edit]

One of the very first programs to be aired on RFD-TV was The Big Joe Polka Show, a polka and dance variety program hosted by Omaha resident Joseph "Big Joe" Siedlik, which continued to be popular among the network's estimated (approximately) 40 million+ available households until it ended its run on January 1, 2011. In 2010, litigation commenced between RFD-TV and The Big Joe Polka Show's creators/producers of Polka Cassettes of Nebraska, involving several lawsuits and countersuits (mostly over a contractual dispute). RFD-TV contends that it had an option to air the program until December 31, 2010, while Polka Cassettes of Nebraska contends that the show was being aired against their wishes, and after cessation of the effectiveness of the previous contract, which expired on December 31, 2009. In August 2010, a multimillion-dollar "slander and defamation" suit was brought against Polka Cassettes of Nebraska by RFD-TV.[12] In 2011, the court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment and dismissed RFD-TV's lawsuit as being without merit.[13] In January 2015, Joseph "Big Joe" Siedlik died.[14][15][16]

The show was replaced by The RFD-TV Polka Fest on January 5, 2011, and aired during the same timeslots. RFD-TV Polka Fest was later replaced by Mollie B Polka Party, hosted by Mollie Busta in July 2011. Wednesday afternoons, starting in September 2015 featured selected reruns of the Big Joe Polka Show under the name Big Joe Polka Classics.

Other programs added in Winter 2007-2008 included a revival of Crook & Chase (which returned to TNN (now Heartland) upon its relaunch in 2012) and Bluegrass & Backroads.[17]

Current programming[edit]


Former programming[edit]

The following programs were aired on RFD-TV at one point, but are no longer listed on the official website.


  2. ^ a b Morgan, Richard (April 13, 2018). "Don Imus finally sells New Mexico ranch". New York Post. Retrieved June 9, 2019.
  3. ^ "RFD-TV Rolls Out on HD on DIRECTV". www.rfdtv.com. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
  4. ^ RFD-TV Now Available to Cox Communications customers Retrieved March 21, 2010
  5. ^ RFD-TV website: Find RFD-TV Archived 2010-10-20 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Wiser, Daniel (May 8, 2014). Comcast Dropped Popular Rural TV Network for Al Jazeera America. Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved May 11, 2014.
  7. ^ "Rural Media Group launches RFD-TV Now". www.rfdtv.com. Retrieved 2020-03-04.
  8. ^ Sling TV Blog: Gather the family for outdoor entertainment, timeless movies and more with new Heartland Extra Retrieved April 5, 2017
  9. ^ Crupi, Anthony (27 February 2017). "Small Change: Why Niche Cable Nets Are on Their Last Legs | Media - AdAge". Advertising Age. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  10. ^ Multichannel News 7/26/07 RFD-TV Goes HD Archived December 4, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Don Imus, RFD Part Ways - Move Pays Could Pave Way For Disc Jockey To Join Fox Business Network
  12. ^ Source: Public Record: The Fourth Judicial District Court of Nebraska Clerk of Courts, date of inquiry Monday, August 30, 2010 Douglas County, Nebraska
  13. ^ http://www.fraserstryker.com/Resources/PDF-Files/Rural-Media-Group-v-Siedlik.pdf
  14. ^ http://columbustelegram.com/news/local/polka-show-host-big-joe-dies-at/article_921733ba-69c3-58a2-9e87-94c4263c74ea.html
  15. ^ http://www.omaha.com/go/big-joe-polka-show-host-dies-of-cancer-at-age/article_08cd5c5a-d7ea-52a7-8e52-5811a5aa7d92.html
  16. ^ http://www.rfdtv.com/story/27765895/polka-legend-big-joe-siedlik-passes#.VODqcvnF98E
  17. ^ Beverly Keel (2007-11-05). "Source: RFD-TV hopes Imus opens urban markets". The Tennessean.
  18. ^ https://www.rfdtv.com/story/22867625/best-of-america-by-horseback
  19. ^ http://www.rfdtv.com/story/37627590/corn-warriors

External links[edit]