Reaching the right viewers

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The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association is moving its television coverage to GAC, the country music network.

After years with the ESPN family of networks, Commissioner Karl Stressman and others with the association found another avenue to highlight their marquee events. The PRCA pays for its coverage – unlike NASCAR, the NFL and other major sports associations – and there are going to be a lot of benefits to making the switch.

Years ago, the Wrangler NFR was showcased on ESPN, then ESPN2. Now it’s on the reduced format on ESPN Classic, with no airings on the main network. And if ESPN bosses think other programming needs to be in place, the rodeo gets bumped. Many rodeo fans have been left out in the cold, so to speak.

GAC doesn’t offer the households of ESPN, but it’s not too far off Classic. And the country music entertainment is more of a fit for rodeo.

Its time buys are also much more affordable, and GAC will promote rodeo, something the ESPN family of networks didn’t do very well.

It’s a good move. And during Tuesday’s news conference in Las Vegas, I liked hearing these words from the PRCA administrators: There are great stories in ProRodeo, and we need to tell them.

You see, I agree totally. That’s why I created this site. Now we just need to get more mainstream publications, broadcasters and websites to help tell those stories, too.

What do you think?


Comments (3)
Kelli Wright / December 8, 2010

I’m all for the move to GAC. From a personal standpoint, in rural West Texas, we just get a couple of the ESPN channels and Classic isn’t one of them (heck, we just got ESPN2 a couple of years ago) but we DO get GAC. I don’t think that ESPN does a good job of promoting rodeo at all so I’m thinking maybe moving to GAC it may be better to be the big fish in a smaller GAC pond rather than a small fish in the huge ESPN pond.

Lynette Harbin / December 8, 2010

Anything that will better promote rodeo to the right audience is a good decision for the PRCA. I’m glad the recognized that there was an issue and made a change before getting the organization in a financial mess like before

Kelli Wright / December 9, 2010

I think the Commissioner pretty much said it all when he said that the PRCA has paid out all this money to be on ESPN and what do they get – pushed around between networks, pre-empted for other sports and undesirable time slots.


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