The National Rifle Association is increasingly becoming a presence on cable. The group sponsors or produces six television shows that air on the Outdoor and Sportsman channels, creating a potential profit center for the group as well as a way to reach out to its core supporters, Reuters reports.
"They’re consolidating their base. It’s a lot easier to get your message across with video than it was a printed pamphlet," said Larry Gerbrandt, a former cable TV executive who founded the media appraisal firm Valuation Partners.
Cam Edwards, the host of Sportsman Channel’s "Cam & Company," has been outspoken in siding with the NRA against President Obama’s proposals to expand gun controls. His show is produced by NRA News.
Nevertheless, he said he is "not a spokesman for the NRA" and that NRA News is distinct from the lobbying organization. The NRA didn’t respond to requests for comment, the story says.
"Other shows, which are mostly history or competition programs, help the NRA promote the gun-owning lifestyle and are an important advertising platform for advertisers such as gun makers Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. or Remington Arms Co. Ltd.," the piece points out.
“One of the Sportsman Channel’s highest-rated shows is ‘Guns and Gold,’ an NRA-produced program in which two officials from the National Firearms Museum tour the country to value heirlooms and ancient guns,” the story reports. “The NRA also sponsors the shooting competition show ‘3-Gun Nation’ on the Sportsman Channel and Outdoor Channel’s ‘American Rifleman,’ which reviews products and airs stories about gun owners from the NRA’s American Rifleman magazine.”