Per a press release, the network will feature original programming centered around country stars and their lives on and off the stage. Its lineup includes a weekly television broadcast of the Grand Ole Opry, the show that made country music famous. A different way to catch events from the Opry House beyond WSM's radio broadcasts brings even more exposure to Grand Ole Opry members.
"Circle is all about fun, discovery and accessibility for country music fans," said Drew Reifenberger, the general manager of Circle Media, in a press release. "Circle will align fans and artists by creating intimate experiences and camaraderie of a close-knit circle of friends."
Planned programming for the Music City-centric network includes entertainment news, documentaries and movies, plus licensed programming and archival content. Programming includes Backstage at the Opry, Opry Debut and Opry Docs. Opry Live premieres in February and compiles recent live-recorded performances at the Grand Ole Opry House by the superstars of yesterday, today and tomorrow
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.
This article was originally published in October of 2019.