NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Gray News) – Opry Entertainment Group and Gray Television, Inc. announced Thursday a new media network dedicated to the country music lifestyle experience. It will be called Circle.
The network will feature original programming centered around artists and their lives on and off the stage. Its lineup includes the return of a weekly broadcast of the Grand Ole Opry, the show that made country music famous.
Gray Television co-CEO Pat LaPlatney believes the programming Circle will offer is in high demand.
"We love the idea of serving an underserved audience and expect to see Circle grow very quickly," LaPlatney said.
It also will offer entertainment news, documentaries and movies, along with licensed programming and archival content.
“Circle is all about fun, discovery and accessibility for country music fans,” said Drew Reifenberger, the general manager of Circle Media. “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, a subsidiary of Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc., said the goal was to provide entertainment experiences celebrating 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," Bailey said.
The network will debut in early 2020 on Gray-owned TV stations. Additional distribution partners will be announced in the coming months.
Circle plans to launch a companion digital premium entertainment service in the late spring of 2020.