Dropping RFD-TV - Poor Decision!
Enthusiast - Level 2

I have just seen on my Verizon FiOS Message Center that as of this January 31st, Verizon FiOS will be dropping the RFD-TV channel from its line-up. (This, after considering adding RFD-HD? It makes no sense!) This upsets me greatly and I am lodging this complaint with Verizon. There are many shows on RFD-TV that are not available on any other channel, especially since the FAMNET Channel had stopped airing the same programming some time ago: shows like 'Trains & Locomotives', 'Hee Haw' (which I grew up with), 'Hidden Heritage', 'All American Cowgirl Chicks Never Quit Series' (which raises awareness for cancer, and support for military servicemembers and emergency responders), 'Advantage Horsemanship', 'The Jimmy Sturr Show' (filmed in my old stomping grounds in the Pocono Mountains, PA), 'Mollie B Polka Party', 'Lone Ranger' and 'The Roy Rogers Show' (more childhood shows), 'Gentle Giants'. as well as special programming such as the Rural Town Hall discussions with the 2016 Presidential candidates, EquestFest, Tournament of Roses Parade (and the lead-up to it)  just to name a few. (I know I have named a large number, and there are far too many more to list here.)

I remember watching with dread the RFD-TV channel scroll when AT&T was merging with Dish Network (or Direct TV - I can't keep those satellite providers straight) and they were planning to drop RFD-TV, and hoping that this would never happen with Verizon FiOS. Now my nightmare is coming true as I see another RFD-TV channel scroll saying that Verizon FiOS is dropping them! I most sincerely hope that RFD-TV can put up the good fight, and I will do what I can to help keep it on Verizon FiOS so I do not lose the great programming RFD-TV offers. There are no other cable providers in my area that offer RFD-TV, so if Verizon FiOS drops it, the programming I enjoy watching so much will be lost. So please, while there is still time, work something out so Verizon changes this narrow view of rural programming and decides to keep RFD-TV (and maybe RFD-HD as it was considering). As I say, I will help RFD-TV put up that good fight! (And hopefully win!) Verizon has already dropped too many "single source" channels (Blue Highway, Fumination, Outdoor Life, The Weather Channel, to name a few) while keeping dozens of sports channels (there are 12 ESPN channels alone!), and at least half-dozen home shopping channels. (Just how much is too much when you lose your only channel for specific programming? Well, this is it.)

I am grossly displeased with Verizon's plan to drop RFD-TV to "save money and provide better service". This is NOT better service; it is anything but. If Verizon wants to save money, then drop some of those sports or home shopping channels I mentioned. You do not need that many sports or home shopping channels when there is only ONE RFD-TV channel to offer rural programming. If Verizon does not reconsider and keep RFD-TV, I will file a complaint with the FCC against Verizon as this is blatantly rural program channel targeting.

Re: Dropping RFD-TV - Poor Decision!
Community Leader
Community Leader

Remember these forums are peer to peer.  So your complaints is going unheard by Verizon.

Another major carrier not carrying it is Comcast.

With Verizon now concentrating no the NorthEast, they probably think there are fewer people who care about RFD.  Verizon FIOS in California, Florida and Texas go to Frontier in a three months. Does Frontier carry RFD?  If they do will they continue to?

Re: Dropping RFD-TV - Poor Decision!
Community Leader
Community Leader

The fact that the channel is not carried by other major carriers (Dish And DirecTv still do according to RFD Website) should say that the channel is just not popular enough for the cost.

There have been reports that some shows have 0 viewers.

Given Verizon's coverage area, the interest in a rural channel is probably lower than if they were in the midwest.

A pure sign of demographics.

As much as we like certain content, it has to be financially viable for the carrier to carry it.

And other channels come as package deals (there aren't 12 ESPNs but they all come as a all or nothing).

Some of the shopping channels can probably afford to give their service away as they make it up in sales.

Re: Dropping RFD-TV - Poor Decision!
Enthusiast - Level 1

Thank you Nermal Girl!

MY husband and I are both college graduates and live in an upscale suburban Philadelphia community.

And yes, FiOs, we watch RFD TV !

We love the equestrian programs like Gentle Giants as well as the equine training programming.

In addition we really love the Marty Stuart Show and have seen him live when he comes to the

Amercian Music Theater in Lancaster, PA.

If anyone from FiOs has ever had the privilege to fly from the East Coast to the West Coast, they would

see that most of our fair country is farmland. 

Why then would anyone want to cancel such an important network?

God bless the farmers.

Re: Dropping RFD-TV - Poor Decision!
Enthusiast - Level 3

My inLaws who live with us, watch RFD 24/7.  I think it's the only channel they watch unless the local teams are on.

Re: Dropping RFD-TV - Poor Decision!
Enthusiast - Level 3


I couldn't agree more that dropping RFD stinks.

This station represents a good portion of the programming I use.

Looks like I'll have to explore other providers.

BB in NJ

Re: Dropping RFD-TV - Poor Decision!
Enthusiast - Level 2

CRobGauth, you say there are not 12 ESPNs, then why do I see in my channel listings:





ESPN Classics

ESPN Sports Extra 1

ESPN Sports Extra 2

ESPN Sports Extra 3

ESPN Sports Extra 4

ESPN Sports Extra 5

ESPN Sports Extra 6

ESPN Sports Extra 7

ESPN Sports Extra 8?

Oh, I see; you are right; there are not 12; there are 13! And then there are all those other non-ESPN sports channels, including a COMCAST Sportsnet! What in the hell is a COMCAST channel doing on my Verizon service? If Verizon wants to dump a channel to save money, then let them dump this COMCAST channel, not my RFD-TV!

As for those home shopping channels, I lost count at FIVE. How many of those **bleep** channels does Verizon need to carry?

You say "There have been reports that some shows have 0 viewers". Presumably you're referring to shows on RFD-TV. So which ones have "0 viewers", and where are you getting your "reports" from? I at least get the RFD-TV e-newsletter, and one of them said that RFD-TV made Verizon an offer within the last year to reduce the fee Verizon paid to carry the channel by 25 percent. I think that's a fair offer. Verizon could do better by dropping some of those non-ESPN sports channels - especially that COMCAST sports channel, and several home shopping channels. (What do your "reports" say about the number of viewers on home shopping channel shows?)

Thanks, CRobGauth, but your reply was less than helpful - less than useless, actually. (And I know about the Kudos and Accepted Solutions buttons to click on; too bad there isn't a "Thumbs Down" button for unhelpful comments.)

Re: Dropping RFD-TV - Poor Decision!
Enthusiast - Level 2

TNS_2, if this is peer to peer, then why does the Verizon help line tell people to post their complaints here? Where should we post the complaints so that those Verizon suits can see just how unhappy we are with the service (or lack thereof) they're giving us?

Re: Dropping RFD-TV - Poor Decision!
Community Leader
Community Leader

I've never seen the ESPN Sports 1-8 before. I don'tbeleive these are full time channels.

Comcast Sports net is a local sports channel.

They have them in multiple areas.

In the DC area we not only have Comcast Sports Net we have MASN.

These are the channels that carry local NBA, NHL and MLB teams.

As for ratings info, here is a clip from a Wall Street Journal article:

RFD-TV is still small. It has had average prime-time viewing of roughly 137,000 in the first half of the year, according to Nielsen, with about 91% of those viewers being 55 or older. Major cable channels often draw more than one million viewers during prime time.

So if they total 137K viewers, I could easily see that Verizon has times when they register no viewers given that Verizon only has 5M total viewers (out of 100M+ households).

A 25% reduction in fees can be misleading. For a cable provider to carry content they pay two costs:

1) A fixed fee - franchise fee as well as connections costs

2) A per viewer fee

So I could see RFD dropping the per user fee, but the other charges are still there. That is where the issue with TWC came in. When people were quoting how cheap it was to carry TWC, they were just quoting the per user fee. The fixed fees can be substantial.

We all have different tastes in what we want to watch. That is why streaming has become more popular. That may be the route that smaller channels will have to go is to provide teh capability for people who want their content to pay a monthly fee to stream vs getting via their cable provider.

Re: Dropping RFD-TV - Poor Decision!
Enthusiast - Level 2

So what if RFD-TV "is still small"? Even when the SyFy (then SciFi) Channel started out it was small. But it was given time and it finally grew. Dropping a channel because "it's small" is a fine way to target what's basically a small business trying to establish itself, and you are discriminating against it because it is a small business.

There are many people fighting to keep RFD-TV on Verizon. (Just ask the FCC; out of your 'Wall Street Journal''s 137k viewers, there are 70k complaints against Verizon for dropping RFD-TV. And there is going to be 70k plus one before this night is out.) And how do you explain that only weeks before this stupid decision, Verizon was in talks with RFD-TV about adding RFD-HD to the Verizon FiOS channel line-up? I get the RFD-TV e-newsletter, so I know about these talks to add RFD-HD, so the real question is who is the idiot at Verizon that can't make up his mind? (This makes Verizon not only look bad, but also rather stupid... talk to someone about expanding the options and then turning around and saying 'Only kidding! We're dropping you! Ha-ha!') There is no explaining your way out of that one!

So I urge everyone that wants to keep RFD-TV on Verizon to do what I've done: visit the FCC web site and file a complaint against Verizon for "targeting small network channels" - it's blatant discrimination. As I say, there are many people fighting to save RFD-TV, and I hope we win.