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The America One Television Network is a small network of American television station that broadcasts old television programs, movies and an assortment of sports on a number of affiliate stations that broadcast low power signals. There are currently a little over one hundred stations, meaning that the network's presence is fairly widespread. Despite the fact that the service is widespread, and has been around a number of years, it is also obscure, engaging in almost no promotion. The stations that broadcast America One programming have no live broadcasts or news staff, and only identify themselves, or their affiliation to the network, through short station identifications. Even the America One website is fairly nondescript, and the history of the network there describes it as being an offshoot of "The US Farm & Ranch Supply Company", which seems to have branched out from their original business into "Western Lifestyle" magazines and eventually owning a low-end television network.

The way that America One works is by buying large chunks of programming that must have fairly low royalties or license fees to broadcast-- such as the Canadian Football League, as well as other minor sports, such as fishing and boating, Westerns from the early days of television, and movies from the 1930s through 1960s. It undercuts all of this programming with a series of infomercials, which are cut to and from rather abruptly. The infomercials are the usual suspects for such things: penis pills, make money fast schemes, and a host of more benign, but just as useless products. The infomercials are a great deal like looking through a spam folder, only slightly more amusing. The entire business strategy seems to be low investment, low return. While the makers of magnetic bracelet clasps aren't probably paying much to America One to run their ads, America One is probably not paying too much for the rights to rerun 50's Westerns, or to run their low power transmitters.

The experience of watching an America One Television Network affiliate is pretty interesting, although honestly every time I have done it I have been in the throughs of low grade substance abuse. The infomercials, while annoying, are entertaining in their own cheesy way. The programming is also not that bad: some of it, like the early Westerns, are entertaining for nostalgia and the like; and some of it, like the Frank Capra movies I have seen, are actually quite good. All in all, it might be fun to find your America One affiliate (if you are in the United States-they have sadly taken down their webcast) and enjoy how good bad TV can be.

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