Rural America’s impact on the election has raised the profile of RFD-TV which, having served rural constituents for the past 16 years, had a better handle than many on just how frustrated voters were with politics as usual. RFD-TV founder and president, Patrick Gottsch, tells Cynopsis why getting a perspective on rural life in America serves everyone.
Cynopsis: Why is it important for suburban and urban areas to watch RFD-TV?
Patrick Gottsch: There is a clear, and growing, disconnect between urban and rural America that is a direct result of national urban media failing to cover rural issues. RFD-TV fills that void with news and programming that not only serves rural America, but puts this information into the pipeline for distribution into urban homes and businesses. The Information Superhighway, to reach its full potential, must be a two-way street with city people and country folks understanding each other’s issues and working together for the benefit of all.
Cynopsis: What does RFD-TV understand about rural America that pollsters may have missed?
Gottsch: That rural America was motivated in 2016. While the stock market was at record levels, farmers and ranchers were experiencing the lowest commodity prices in over ten years. Not one question in any debate was asked about rural issues. RFD-TV, in conjunction with Mediacom Cable, held a series of Rural Town Halls during the election process which exposed the frustration that rural Americans were experiencing with both political parties. An independent message resonated with so many who wanted real change from business-as-usual.
Cynopsis: Do you think the election, and many people’s hope to understand what happened, will help boost the distribution of RFD-TV?
Gottsch: RFD-TV’s distribution is already benefiting from the election as DIRECTV NOW included our rural network in the 65-channel package with their launch earlier this month. AT&T “gets it” and put RFD-TV in with ESPN, CNN, Fox News, DISNEY, USA, and the other traditional basics in support of our efforts to connect city with country again. Charter is also now rolling out RFD-TV on digital basic to all the newly acquired Time Warner & Brighthouse cable systems for the same reason. Because of the election, rural America has reaffirmed its value, and can no longer be ignored.
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