Realtree Outdoors Celebrates Outdoor Channel’s 30th Anniversary

July 11, 2024

Bill Jordan and David Blanton Share 30 Years of Memories on Outdoor TV

DENVER (July 11, 2024) /OUTDOOR SPORTSWIRE/ – In honor of the Outdoor Channel’s 30th anniversary, two of the outdoor industry’s most iconic figures, Bill Jordan and David Blanton of Realtree Outdoors, congratulate the outdoor television network. Their insightful exchange offers a deep dive into the evolution of outdoor television, the impact of technological advancements, and the cherished memories that have shaped their careers.

Bill Jordan, founder of Realtree and a pioneer in outdoor television, reflects on the remarkable changes over the past three decades. “You know, one of the neat things for me is seeing the transition in television. We’ve been in this space for a long time, and while social media has grown, I still love the experience of sitting down and watching a full, 30-minute outdoor show,” said Jordan.

Jordan shares that even after over 30 years of producing outdoor TV, he’s still within his original goals of bringing entertaining and educating outdoor TV to hunters. “As I get a little bit older and reflect back, I enjoy what we do here at Realtree Outdoors because I want the young people to see that the outdoors can be entertaining and to get them more involved in the space.”

David Blanton, who Bill Jordan brought on to start Realtree’s TV video department, shared his unique perspective on how outdoor television has evolved since its inception.” When we began Realtree Outdoors on TNN in 1993, which took us three years to get there, we were among the first to show real hunting impacts on national television. This was a game-changer and set us apart,” Blanton explained.

But starting a show back then wasn’t as cost-effective, as Blanton shared. “The cost of a camera that was high enough quality to pass the requirements to be on national television was the beta SP formats. And they were $40,000 to $50,000 per camera!” Blanton also thinks viewers’ tastes have changed over the past three decades. “We’ve been challenged to do a better job, create more content with more shot angles, use more GoPros, and maybe tell a story better. The average viewer today wants more of the backstory, and so we’re trying now to give a little more of the storyline, as opposed to what we may have done in the early days.”

Reflecting on his favorite memories, Jordan fondly recalled hunting experiences with his children and celebrity guests like Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jr., as well as Chipper Jones. “Sharing that first hunting experience with my kids is probably the most memorable. It’s just to see the excitement in their eyes and seeing a kid really enjoy the outdoors. And outside of that, it’s been hunting with friends like Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jr. and sharing those stories with our audience. It has been incredibly fulfilling,” said Jordan. He continued to share that many fans expressed how ‘easy’ it must’ve been to hunt with celebrities. Still, Jordan stresses it’s all about the love of the outdoors. “And people say, ‘Well, you’re hunting with this country singer or that.’ You know, that is true. But the message we want to portray is these guys love the outdoors. The outdoors brought us all together. We didn’t go after them. They came out to do something and share their passion; it’s the same passion we have.”

Blanton also reminisced about memorable moments with celebrated personalities like Dale Earnhardt Sr., emphasizing the honor of being part of the Outdoor Channel’s remarkable 30-year legacy. “Looking back, one of my favorite memories of Realtree Outdoors was the time we spent with the late Dale Earnhardt. I’ll never forget when he came to Georgia to hunt turkeys with Bill and me in the spring, a few days before the Talladega race. He came over to hunt that morning, and the weather was bad. He kept checking with the track to make sure they weren’t going to practice, and all of a sudden, we stopped somewhere. He called the track, and they said, ‘Dale, we are literally drying the track off. They’re about to start practicing’ and Dale’s sitting over here turkey hunting with us in West Central Georgia. Before you know it, we are flying to the airport. His plane is waiting for him. I’ve never seen Dale Earnhardt sweating bullets like he was that day because he was about to be late to Talladega only because of a goblin’ turkey.”

Celebrating the Outdoor Channel’s milestone, Jordan expressed gratitude for the platform that has allowed them to share their passion for the outdoors. “The Outdoor Channel has been heaven-sent for us, allowing us to tell authentic outdoor stories. It’s given people a chance to see the beauty and excitement of the outdoors,” said Jordan. And Blanton agrees, “It’s such an honor to be a part of so many incredible personalities, figures, and production companies that put forth award-winning programming on the Outdoor Channel.”

About Outdoor Channel: Outdoor Channel has been taking viewers across America and around the world on unparalleled adventures since 1994. Dedicated to the outdoor lifestyle and conservation, the independent cable network is a division of Outdoor Sportsman Group and provides a complete spectrum of riveting hunting, fishing, shooting and adventure entertainment. Outdoor Channel is the largest outdoor TV footprint in the country and is available in more than 50 countries internationally. Outdoor Channel can be viewed in HD and is accessible by broadband and mobile platforms. For program times and other information, visit www.outdoorchannel.com. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.



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