Opry Entertainment Group and Gray Television reveal name for country lifestyle multi-platform media network
Opry Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. (NYSE: RHP), and Gray Television, Inc. (NYSE:GTN) announced their forthcoming media network dedicated to the country music lifestyle experience will be called Circle®.
Circle is a 360-degree media platform that will bring viewers into country music’s inner circle. The name is also a nod to the iconic wooden circle on the Grand Ole Opry stage where countless country music superstars have performed. Circle will feature original programming centered around artists and their music; hobbies; outdoor and offstage adventures; food; family; and friends. Circle will also offer entertainment news, documentaries and movies along with licensed programming and archival content. The lineup includes the return of a weekly broadcast of the Grand Ole Opry, the show that made country music famous.
Drew Reifenberger, general manager of Circle Media said, “Circle is all about fun, discovery and accessibility for country music fans. Circle will align fans and artists by creating intimate experiences and camaraderie of a close-knit circle of friends.”
Scott Bailey, president of Opry Entertainment Group said, “As country music’s fan base continues to expand, our goal as a company is to provide differentiated entertainment experiences that celebrate the country lifestyle and enrich the artist-fan connection that is the backbone of country music. Circle Media is a key piece of that strategy that will create a window into all of the best moments that happen in Nashville and throughout the South so fans can connect with up-and-coming artists and the superstars they love from anywhere they are.”
The linear 24/7 network will begin in early 2020 with TV stations owned by Gray TV. More distribution partners will be announced in the coming months. Circle plans to launch a companion OTT (over-the-top) premium entertainment service in late spring 2020.
Pat LaPlatney, president and co-chief executive officer of Gray, said, “Circle will be an opportunity for us to provide our local communities with original, compelling content. We love the idea of serving an underserved audience, and expect to see Circle grow very quickly.”