Country

Peacock Picks Up First Music & Country Lifestyle Channel With Circle Network: Exclusive

Blake Shelton
Andrew Eccles

Blake Shelton

Partnership kicks off with "Spring Blake," a Blake Shelton-palooza of programming.

Circle Network, a joint venture between Opry Entertainment Group and Gray Television, is now available on Peacock, making it the NBCUniversal-owned streaming service’s first music channel and country lifestyle channel.

To commemorate the occasion, Circle and Peacock have teamed with Blake Shelton -- who is a member of the Grand Ole Opry and a judge on NBC’s The Voice -- for Spring Blake, a daylong network takeover on Saturday.

“Launching with an event anchored by Blake Shelton perfectly illustrates the opportunity to further engage and enhance the country music fandom on our service,” Jen Brown, Peacock’s senior vp, programming told Billboard.

Spring Blake will feature a day of new and archival Shelton-themed programming starting at noon ET, including episodes of previously aired programming from Shelton’s Ole Red restaurant in Nashville via Natalie Stovall’s The Southern Weekend, as well as Shelton reuniting with former tourmates Howard and David Bellamy on Bellamy Brothers Honky Tonk Ranch.

That evening, Circle will air performances from Shelton, starting with Shelton’s Opry Live appearance with Dustin Lynch and Trace Adkins. At 10 p.m. ET, Shelton and Lynch will be joined by Chris Janson, Jimmie Allen and others for the premiere of this year’s Conservation Aid concert, a benefit for wildlife habitat conservation organization, The National Wild Turkey Foundation.

“Blake is an iconic country music star, and we are excited to have him take over Circle Network for a night of all things Blake Shelton,” said Drew Reifenberger, Circle Network general manager. “Viewers will get an inside look into our favorite episodes and moments featuring Blake - from visits to the iconic ‘Ole Red’ hotspot, to live performances with his close friends and fellow country music stars. This also comes at a perfect time as we launch our partnership with Peacock, allowing even more country fans to take part in the journey.”

“There are more than 130 million people in the United States who identify as country music fans, and with Peacock, we are able to reach more of this growing fan base than ever before,” added Scott Bailey, president of Opry Entertainment Group, in a statement. “We look forward to adding our artist-centered programming, like Opry Live, to their collection of high-quality content and channels.”

Circle started in January 2020 and has a monthly reach of close to 150 million between streaming distribution partnerships and linear distribution. Its programming mix includes music, Grand Ole Opry performances, documentaries, lifestyle shows and archival offerings.

Peacock launched in July 2020 and has more than 33 million signups as of the end of January, according to NBCUniversal parent Comcast.

Spring Blake will continue throughout March with promotions via Ole Red and the restaurant’s social channels.

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