|Launched||December 1, 2000|
|Owned by||Rural Media Group|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)
|Slogan||Rural America's Most Important Network|
|Sister channel(s)||The Cowboy Channel|
|Selective TV Inc.
|K34AF-D (channel 34)|
|SW CO TV Translator Assoc.
|K22CU-D (channel 22.3)|
|Dish Network||231 (HD/SD)|
|C-Band - H2H/4DTV||AMC 18 - 226|
|C-Band - Free-To-Air||AMC-1 Freq: 3915 SR: 4410 FEC: 2/3 QPSK|
|Available on other U.S. cable systems||Consult your local cable provider for channel availability|
|AT&T U-verse||1568 (HD)
|Sky Angel||333 (SD)|
|Sling TV||Internet Protocol television|
|DirecTV Now||Internet Protocol television|
RFD-TV is an American digital cable and satellite television channel that is owned by 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 and national sales office are based in Omaha, Nebraska. RFD-TV's sister radio station is Sirius XM's Rural Radio. RFD-TV also owns a theatre in Branson, Missouri where some variety shows that air on RFD-TV are filmed.
As of February 2015, RFD-TV is available to approximately 47.3 million pay television households (40.7% of households with television) in the United States. 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. It is not available in most Comcast markets; Comcast controversially dropped the channel in many of its Western markets in favor of Al Jazeera America in 2013. In addition to its cable and satellite coverage, RFD-TV is offered as an Internet television feed; the feed is currently paywalled and requires a paying subscription, with a TV Everywhere said to be coming soon. It was added to Sling TV on April 4, 2017 as part of the "Heartland Extra" add-on service. 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.
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.
RFD-HD is a high definition feed of RFD-TV that broadcasts in the 1080i resolution format. Instead of simulcasting RFD-TV, the HD feed maintains its own independent programming schedule. The channel first began broadcasting in high definition in the fall of 2007.
Imus in the Morning
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. 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.
The Big Joe Polka Show
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. In 2011, the court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment and dismissed RFD-TV's lawsuit as being without merit. In January 2015, Joseph "Big Joe" Siedlik died.
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 will feature selected reruns of the Big Joe Polka Show under the name "Big Joe Polka Classics."
- Ray Stevens' Nashville
- Hee Haw
- The Jimmy Dean Show
- The Joey Canyon Show
- The Lone Ranger
- The Marty Stuart Show
- The Porter Wagoner Show
- Red Steagall is Somewhere West of Wall Street
- Reno's Old-Time Country Music (hosted by Ronnie Reno, son of Don Reno)
- Larry's Country Diner
- The Wilburn Brothers Show
- The Jimmy Sturr Show
- Cumberland Highlanders
- Heart to Heart Classics with Stan Hitchcock
- Hidden Heritage (hosted by Paul LaRoche)
- The Joey + Rory Show
- Midwest Country
- Nashville on the Road (1975-83 series hosted by Jim Ed Brown and later Jim Stafford)
- Opry Encore
- Pop! Goes the Country
- Gaither Gospel Hour
- Out There With Baxter Black
- The Penny Gilley Show
- RFD-TV The Theatre (Branson, Missouri)
- Texas Country Reporter
- Ralph Emery
- Crook & Chase
- PBR Now
- The Roy Rogers Happy Trails Theatre/The Roy Rogers Show
- Country's Family Reunion (and its variants)
- The Shotgun Red Variety Show
- Presleys' County Jubilee
- Rural Town Hall (public affairs/news)
- Rural Heritage
- Tim Farmer's Country Kitchen
- Little Britches Rodeo
- The American Rancher
- I Love Toy Trains
- Trains & Locomotives
- This Week in Louisiana Agriculture, created in 1981 by Regnal Wallace
- This Week in Agribusiness with Orion Samuelson and Max Armstrong
- U.S. Farm Report
The following programs were aired on RFD-TV at one point, but are no longer listed on the official website.
- UK Extension (Agriculture)
- Richard Winters (Equine)
- Lynn Palm (Equine)
- Richard Shrake (Equine)
- Monty Roberts (Equine)
- RV Today (Rural Lifestyle)
- Turnin' To Country (Travel / Lifestyle)
- Country Carnival
- Showcase Jubilee
- Imus in the Morning (Entertainment)
- Live from Daryl's House (Music and entertainment)
- RURAL RADIO
- Seidman, Robert (February 22, 2015). "List of how many homes each cable network is in as of February 2015". TV by the Numbers. Zap2it. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
- RFD-TV Now Available to Cox Communications customers Retrieved March 21, 2010
- RFD-TV website: Find RFD-TV Archived 2010-10-20 at the Wayback Machine.
- Wiser, Daniel (May 8, 2014). Comcast Dropped Popular Rural TV Network for Al Jazeera America. Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved May 11, 2014.
- Sling TV Blog: Gather the family for outdoor entertainment, timeless movies and more with new Heartland Extra Retrieved April 5, 2017
- Crupi, Anthony (27 February 2017). "Small Change: Why Niche Cable Nets Are on Their Last Legs | Media - AdAge". Advertising Age. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
- Multichannel News 7/26/07 RFD-TV Goes HD Archived December 4, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- Don Imus, RFD Part Ways - Move Pays Could Pave Way For Disc Jockey To Join Fox Business Network
- Source: Public Record: The Fourth Judicial District Court of Nebraska Clerk of Courts, date of inquiry Monday, August 30, 2010 Douglas County, Nebraska
- Beverly Keel (2007-11-05). "Source: RFD-TV hopes Imus opens urban markets". The Tennessean.