Gottsch, rodeo media mogul, passes away at 70

Submitted photo Patrick Gottsch, founder of the Cowboy Channel, died suddenly this past week. He is pictured here with his three daughters.

Rodeo fans across the country are shocked by the sudden death of Patrick Gottsch, age 70, the founder of the Rural Media Group which owns the Cowboy Channel, the Cowgirl Channel, RFD-TV, and the Sirius XM Rural Radio Channel. He had just been to Fort Worth, Texas, to attend the Women’s Rodeo World Championships and the Professional Bull Rider World Championships when he passed.

Gottsch began his campaign 35 years ago to bring the lifestyle and values of rural America to more Americans through the RFD-TV network. His ultimate dream was to create a network which would bring rodeo full-time to television. This dream became a reality in 2017, and today hundreds of rodeos across the country are available in more than 44 million homes.

Included in these rodeos are many of the smaller rodeos such as the annual one here in Gerry.

Tom Atwell, Gerry Rodeo chairman, says that not only have Gottsch’s efforts helped rodeo’s popularity spread, but they have had a direct impact on the Gerry Rodeo through making it possible for the fans to have access to replays and closeups of the action through the large video board during each performance.

Gottsch’s two older daughters, Raquel and Gatsby, are very involved in the ownership and the daily operations of the Rural Media Group, and the family wants rodeo fans to know that their father’s work will continue.

Atwell had the opportunity during his recent trip to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas to meet Gottsch and personally thank him for all he has done to help promote the smaller rodeos like the Gerry Rodeo. He says Gottsch seemed very pleased and surprised that he had made the effort to express his appreciation.

The Gerry Fire Department is looking forward to its 79th consecutive professional rodeo, scheduled for four performances, July 31 through Aug. 3, with more than 200 pro cowboys and cowgirls from across the country competing for $50,000 in prize money. Additional information is available at the rodeo website www.gerryrodeo.org or by phone at 716-985-4847.


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