As revealed on December 11th, the Opry Entertainment Group and Gray Television have officially partnered together to launch The Circle Network—a new country music channel that along with 16 new original television series will also see the return of the Grand Ole Opry to television for the first time in many years. Along with the program called Opry Live which will include new live-recorded Grand Ole Opry performances to be released each week, there will be another show called Opry Debut focusing on artists making their first appearance on the show, and Opry Docs about the history of the Grand Ole Opry.
Also featured on the network will be the more regular rebroadcasting of vintage Hee-Haw episodes, shows featuring Opry members Craig Morgan and Dailey & Vincent, Elizabeth Cook will have a fishing show, along with other programming delving deep into country music culture. To see the full slate of original programs, and for more information on The Circle Network, CLICK HERE.
But the big question for many country music fans has been where and when can they watch the network? Though some of this is still being determined, and new markets are likely to be added as we near the January 1st, 2020 launch of the network proper, here is what we know so far.
• The Circle Network with be an OTA, or “Over-The Air” network, not cable. That means you don’t need a cable provider if there is an affiliate in your area. What you will need is a television capable of surfing the “other” digital channels for your local affiliates, meaning those 6-1 and 6-2 channels that your television picks up on when you program your channels.
• If you have satellite or cable, you will still get these channels, but only if they’re in your media market. In other words, you don’t HAVE to pick up the over-the-air signal to see it. If you have cable, these channels should translate into your channel menu, though there may be exceptions in certain locations. As always, the “check local listings” rule applies.
• The Circle Network will be launching an OTT, or Over-The-Top premium channel in late spring 2020, meaning you can watch on the internet anywhere. For a fee, you will be able to watch The Circle Network at any time, and from any place via an internet-connected device. It won’t be available right off the bat, but they promise it’s coming.
• The Grand Ole Opry programming won’t be available during the initial launch of the network on January 1st, 2020. It will not debut on the new network until February of 2020, and this may also be the case of the network’s other original programs as they ramp up production.
• The Circle Network will be available in 62 markets via Gray Television, as well as in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Detroit through a separate agreement with CBS Television, ultimately reaching an estimated 50% of U.S. television households. You can find the full list of affiliates below, but yes, at the moment, The Circle Network won’t be available everywhere, including important country music media markets like Nashville, Austin, Houston, and others. But the network has assured they’re working on adding new affiliates all the time, so continue to check to see if the network has come to your market, or perhaps lobby local stations to carry the network on one of their open digital channels.
The Circle Network Markets and Channels
To search via ZIP Code, CLICK HERE.
Channel TBA – New York, NY
Channel TBA – Los Angeles, CA
Channel TBA – Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
Channel TBA – Detroit, MI
Channel 24, WGCW – Albany, GA
Channel 10, KEYU – Amarillo, TX
Channel 2, KTUU – Anchorage, AK
Channel 12, WRDW – Augusta-Aiken, GA
Channel 5, WABI – Bangor, ME
Channel 9, WAFB – Baton Rouge, LA
Channel WBRC – Birmingham (Ann and Tusc), AL
Channel 9, KNIN – Boise, ID
Channel 3, WCAX – Burlington-Plattsburgh, VT
Channel 12, KFVS – Cape Girardeau, MO
Channel 9, KCRG – Cedar Rapids, IA
Channel 5, WCSC – Charleston, SC
Channel 3, WSAZ – Charleston – Huntington, WV
Channel 3, WBTV – Charlotte, NC
Channel 19, WXIX – Cincinnati, OH
Channel 5, WDTV – Clarksburg, WV
Channel 43, WUAB – Cleveland-Akron OH
Channel 11, KKTV – Colorado Springs – Pueblo, C
Channel 10, WIS – Columbia, SC
Channel 9, WTVM – Columbus, GA
Channel 14, WFIE – Evansville, IN
Channel 12, WJRT – Flint-Saginaw-Bay City, MI
Channel 20, WCJB – Gainesville, FL
Channel 2, WBAY – Green Bay – Appleton, WI
Channel WITN – Greenville, NC
Channel KGMB – Honolulu, HI
Channel 48, WAFF – Huntsville, AL
Channel 3, WLBT – Jackson, MS
Channel 8, WVLT – Knoxville, TN
Channel 10, WILX – Lansing, MI
Channel WKYT – Lexington, KY
Channel WYMT – Lexington, KY
Channel KOLN – Lincoln-Hastings, NE
Channel KGIN – Lincoln-Hastings, NE
Channel 3, WAVE – Louisville, KY
Channel 11, KCBD – Lubbock, TX
Channel 5, WMC – Memphis, TN
Channel 5, KFYR – Minot-Bismarck-Dickinson, ND
Channel 12, WSFA – Montgomery, AL
Channel WMBF – Myrtle Beach – Florence, SC
Channel 8, WVUE – New Orleans, LA
Channel KYOU – Ottumwa-Kirksville, IA
Channel 18, WECP – Panama City, FL
Channel KOTA – Rapid City, SD
Channel 8, KOLO – Reno, NV
Channel WWBT – Richmond-Petersburg, VA
Channel 7, WDBJ – Roanoke, VA
Channel 11, WTOC – Savannah, GA
Channel 12, KSLA – Shreveport, LA
Channel 16, WNDU – South Bend-Elkhart, IN
Channel WCTV – Tallahassee-Thomasville, FL
Channel 7, WWSB – Tampa-St. Petersburg (Sarasota), FL
Channel 13, WTVG – Toledo, OH
Channel 13, WIBW – Topeka, KS
Channel 13, KOLD – Tucson (Nogales), AZ
Channel 7, KLTV – Tyler-Longview (Lufkin & Nacogdoches), TX
Channel 10, KWTX – Waco-Temple-Bryan, TX
Channel 29, WFLX – West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, FL
Channel KSCW – Wichita-Hutchinson Plus, KS
Channel 6, WECT – Wilmington, NC