PBR likes to say it’s always listening to the fans.
Well, fans have been asking for for more bull riding coverage on free, over-the-air broadcast television. Based on this morning’s release of the 2020 TV schedule, it appears that the league and its broadcast partner have heard the fans loudly and clearly.
PBR and CBS Sports earlier this year announced a ten-year extension, making The Tiffany Network – the home of the Masters, SEC Football, NFL games and other marquee sports properties – the television home for a sport that has on occasion been number two in the ratings to NFL on any given Sunday .
It’s huge for PBR to stand next to these big-time sports properties within the world-class CBS portfolio, and today came the official word of an increase in coverage.
That’s welcome news to fans who have been asking for more PBR on both broadcast and network television. It shows the willingness of the network to add more events on both CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network.
And why not?
The sport produces. PBR on CBS averaged 1.2 million viewers for each broadcast in 2019, according to Nielsen.
Fans will be able to watch over 50 PBR events over the 2020 season, with CBS free broadcast coverage over 17 events of the Unleash The Beast – the premier series of bull riding — on CBS Sports.
Additionally, CBS Sports Network will air 14 live events over the season from places like Sacramento, Cheyenne, Billings, and of course the World Finals from Las Vegas.
This announcement is good for the sport and fans. And like those old infomercials, as Billy Mays used to say, “But that is not all…there is more!”
For one, there is going to be free Global Cup – “the Olympics of Bull Riding” – inside AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX on February, 16 on CBS at 12:00 P.M., ET, along with CBS Sports Network at 8:30 PM, ET. Global Cup is the only time during the season that the normally individual sport transforms into a team format during the duration of the event. The riders are pumped to compete for national pride an the atmosphere is absolutely electric.
Last February at the Global Cup in Texas, more than 60,000 fans packed Jerry World to watch bull riding – the biggest event in PBR history.
Additionally CBS’ western sports commitment will also increase for the 2020 season with four WCRA (World Champions Rodeo Alliance) rodeos airing on free broadcast television this year
The “Royal City” Showdown will air first on Saturday, February 29 at 12:30 PM ET as part of two Western Sports weekends showing both PBR and WCRA events on CBS Sports. Other WCRA events will air on May 17, from Guthrie Oklahoma, Sunday, July 26 for the Days of ‘47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo from Salt Lake City and Saturday August, 29 with an air time to be announced.
The WCRA make a great pairing with the PBR, and these events are must-see television.
The steady voice of award-winning play-by-play man Craig Hummer will be joined for analysis and insight throughout the season by familiar voices Ty Murray, Justin McBride and sometimes salty fan-favorite JW Hart, with sideline commentary and updates from Kate Harrison and Justin Felisko.
CBS has made a significant long-term commitment to PBR. The current contract runs through 2028.
In the spirit of Billy Mays, we are hoping to share with you even more PBR coverage this time next year.