The Cowboy Channel stands as the authoritative platform for ProRodeo, serving as the pioneering 24-hour television network entirely devoted to the world of western sports and the western way of life. Nestled in the heart of the Fort Worth Stockyards, The Cowboy Channel offers a rich tapestry of content centered on ProRodeo, bull riding, roping, reining, barrel racing, and various other western sporting disciplines. It also celebrates western fashion and music, encapsulating the essence of this unique lifestyle.
Within its programming, The Cowboy Channel presents an expansive array of “live” coverage from prominent western events, spotlighting the planet’s most resilient and skilled cowboys and cowgirls as they take on the toughest challenges.
June 19, 2017, Rural Media Group CEO Patrick Gottsch announced the rebranding of FamilyNet as The Cowboy Channel, effective July 1. The new focus would be on Western sports and rodeo events, tapping into the popularity they had already garnered on RFD-TV. Gottsch acknowledged Sony Pictures Television’s contribution to the network’s stability but highlighted the intense competition in the classic television space from networks like MeTV, Antenna TV, Cozi TV, Heroes & Icons, and others. This prompted the strategic shift toward a Western sports network to distinguish itself in the crowded cable and satellite landscape. Initial programming included encore events from RFD’s The American Rodeo, the Calgary Stampede, and the Professional Bull Riders archives. In 2018, Sony’s archived content moved to their own GetTV.
The Cowboy Channel secured a multi-year agreement with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association to broadcast major events, including the National Finals Rodeo, starting in 2020.
As part of the network conversion, Rural Media ended carriage agreements with over-the-air broadcasters, making The Cowboy Channel a pay-TV exclusive.
A Canadian version of the channel was introduced on February 1, 2020, available on Shaw Direct television systems, through a partnership with Rural Media.
The Cowboy Channel offers a diverse array of programming that captures the essence of the American West. Whether you’re a rodeo aficionado, a Western film buff, or simply someone who appreciates the cowboy way of life, this channel has something for everyone. Here are some of the programming highlights that make The Cowboy Channel stand out:
The Cowboy Channel is home to some of the most prestigious rodeo events in the world, including the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) and the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) World Finals. Viewers can witness the adrenaline-pumping action of bull riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling, and more from the comfort of their homes.
Classic Western movies and TV series are a staple of The Cowboy Channel’s programming. From John Wayne classics to timeless Western series like “Gunsmoke” and “Bonanza,” the channel offers a nostalgic journey through the Wild West.
Music has always been an integral part of cowboy culture, and The Cowboy Channel pays homage to this with music programming that includes country, Western swing, and cowboy ballads. You can enjoy live performances, interviews with Western musicians, and even music videos that celebrate the genre.
For those interested in the day-to-day life of cowboys and ranchers, The Cowboy Channel offers documentaries and reality series that provide an authentic look into the Western way of life. You can learn about cattle ranching, horse training, and the challenges of living in rural America.
Beyond the marquee rodeo events, The Cowboy Channel covers a wide range of rodeo competitions, ensuring that fans never miss a moment of the action. The channel’s expert commentary and in-depth analysis enhance the viewing experience.
The Cowboy Channel also features educational programs related to farming, agriculture, and rural living. This content helps bridge the gap between urban and rural communities, fostering a deeper understanding of the challenges and rewards of rural life.
A significant portion of the Cowboy Channel’s non-sports content is sourced from the program library of RFD-TV, with a primary focus on ranching and rodeo-related shows. It’s important to note that the Cowboy Channel does not include RFD-TV’s content related to music, agribusiness, or news. Additionally, similar to RFD-TV, the Cowboy Channel features brokered televangelism programming on Sunday mornings.
- Ride Smart
- The Cowboys’ Kitchen
- Best of America By Horseback
- Chris Cox Horsemanship
- Cinch High School Rodeo Tour
- Cowboy Country TV
- Western Sports Roundup
- Your Life Redefined
- Debbe Dunning’s Dude Ranch Roundup
- Gentle Giants
- Honky Tonk Ranch
- Little Britches Rodeo
- Out There with Baxter Black
- PRCA Rodeo
- Western Trading Post
- The American Rancher
- Wild Spayed Filly Futurity
- Red Steagall is Somewhere West of Wall Street
- The Roy Rogers Show
- The Lone Ranger
Pro rodeo is at the core of The Cowboy Channel’s programming, showcasing the thrilling and competitive world of rodeo sports. The channel provides extensive coverage of professional rodeo events, offering viewers a front-row seat to witness the skill, courage, and determination of cowboys and cowgirls as they compete in various rodeo disciplines. From bull riding and barrel racing to team roping and steer wrestling, The Cowboy Channel brings the excitement of pro rodeo right into your living room.
National Finals Rodeo
The National Finals Rodeo (NFR) is the crown jewel of rodeo events, and The Cowboy Channel is the go-to destination for fans of this prestigious competition. Every December, the top rodeo athletes from around the world gather in Las Vegas to vie for the coveted NFR titles. The Cowboy Channel provides comprehensive coverage of the NFR, including live broadcasts, highlights, and behind-the-scenes access. It’s the place to be for NFR enthusiasts, where you can experience the drama and intensity of rodeo’s grandest stage.
Texas, often referred to as the heartland of rodeo, holds a special place in the cowboy culture, and The Cowboy Channel pays tribute to this with its Texas Swing coverage. The Texas Swing is a series of major rodeo events held in the Lone Star State, attracting top rodeo athletes and passionate fans alike. The Cowboy Channel takes you on a tour of Texas rodeos, from the legendary Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo to the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. It’s a celebration of rodeo excellence and a testament to the deep-rooted cowboy traditions of Texas.
100 Rodeos in 100 Days
For the ultimate rodeo binge-watching experience, The Cowboy Channel’s “100 Rodeos in 100 Days” is a must-see event. This marathon programming extravaganza brings viewers a daily dose of rodeo action, featuring a diverse selection of rodeo events from across the United States. Whether you’re a seasoned rodeo fan or just discovering the excitement of the sport, this marathon offers something for everyone. It’s a marathon that captures the essence of rodeo culture, showcasing the talent and dedication of rodeo athletes from coast to coast.
Community and Connection
Beyond the programming, The Cowboy Channel has become a hub for Western enthusiasts to connect with like-minded individuals. The channel’s website and social media platforms provide a space for fans to share their passion, discuss their favorite events, and even participate in contests and giveaways. This sense of community is invaluable for people who may not have a local Western scene but still want to be part of the cowboy culture.
The Cowboy Channel interacts with its audience through social media, allowing fans to share their love for Western culture, rodeo, and all things cowboy. This engagement fosters a sense of belonging among viewers.
The channel organizes and promotes various fan events, including meet-and-greets with rodeo stars, Western music concerts, and even Western-themed festivals. These events create opportunities for fans to connect with like-minded individuals.
Supporting Rodeo Communities
The Cowboy Channel actively supports rodeo communities and organizations. It collaborates with rodeo associations and charities to raise awareness and funds for various causes related to the Western lifestyle.
In addition to entertainment, The Cowboy Channel is committed to educating the public about the importance of agriculture, ranching, and preserving Western traditions. They often partner with educational institutions and agriculture-focused organizations to achieve this goal.
To cater to the modern viewer’s preferences, The Cowboy Channel has also launched a mobile app, making it easier than ever to access their content. The app allows viewers to stream live events, catch up on missed shows, and stay connected with the Western lifestyle on the go. It’s a testament to the channel’s commitment to embracing new technologies while preserving the timeless appeal of cowboy culture.
The Impact and Legacy of The Cowboy Channel
The Cowboy Channel’s influence extends beyond the screen. It has played a significant role in preserving and promoting Western traditions and rodeo sports, ensuring that they continue to thrive in the modern era. By bringing these events and stories to a broader audience, the channel has helped bridge the gap between generations and introduce new fans to the allure of the Wild West.
In addition, The Cowboy Channel has contributed to the economic vitality of rodeo communities by increasing the visibility of these events and generating interest among potential sponsors and partners. This support has a ripple effect, benefiting the rodeo athletes and the communities that host these events.
Saddle Up and Tune In
In a world where entertainment options seem limitless, Cowboy Channel stands out as a dedicated and authentic window into the world of cowboys, cowgirls, and the American West. Whether you’re a seasoned rodeo fan or just curious about the cowboy way of life, this channel offers a wealth of programming that will keep you entertained, informed, and connected with a vibrant Western community.
So, saddle up, grab your remote, and tune in to The Cowboy Channel. It’s a journey through the heart and soul of the Wild West, and you won’t want to miss a moment of the ride.