By: Andrew Giangola
February 23, 2017
ARLINGTON, Texas –THE AMERICAN, an action-packed rodeo event, will air on CBS Sports on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. ET. The broadcast will feature the final round of THE AMERICAN from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys and include bull riding with the Top 10 riders from the 2016 PBR world standings, competing alongside three-time PRCA champion Sage Kimzey (fan invite).
The show, which highlights rodeo in a way that appeals to casual viewers as well as longtime fans, features the Western sports world’s best human and animal athletes taking center stage at one of the world’s premier sporting venues. Winners and runners-up in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding won a total purse of $2 million.
“We are excited to partner with CBS to bring rodeo back to network television,” said Patrick Gottsch, President and Founder of RFD-TV. “The world’s greatest western sports athletes competing for $2 million in AT&T Stadium is something that everyone should see and enjoy.”
Eighty competitors, including 31 world champions, from the Professional Bull Riders, Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, Women’s Professional Rodeo Association and Elite Rodeo Athletes accepted invitations to The American. Other rodeo competitors came through THE AMERICAN’s qualifier system to have a chance to win a $1 million bonus.
THE AMERICAN’s open-to-the-world format gives anyone an opportunity to try to qualify for THE AMERICAN Semi-Finals. There are no age or gender restrictions. Qualifying events are held across the U.S. and in Brazil. Winners qualify for a Semi-Finals rodeo with a purse of nearly $1 million. The top semi-finalists advance to AT&T Stadium with a chance to face their sports’ best and take a shot at the bonus.
Professional Bull Riders (PBR) assisted in bringing this exciting event to network television for the first time in decades.
“PBR is very happy contribute to RFD TV’s great accomplishments with THE AMERICAN, the richest one-day rodeo in the world,” said Sean Gleason, CEO, PBR. “We look forward to the continued growth of the greatest Western sports weekend of the year, featuring both The American and PBR’s Iron Cowboy.”
The 2016 bull riding competition at THE AMERICAN was won by Joao Ricardo Vieira, who went 2-for-2 to bring home $100,000. Vieira is a two-time PBR Iron Cowboy champion and has won over $350,000 inside AT&T Stadium.
J.B. Mauney is also a previous winner at THE AMERICAN, taking home the 2014 title. Jess Lockwood, the 2016 PBR Rookie of the Year, and Ryan Dirteater, who won the 2016 PBR World Finals event, were first-time qualifiers.
Four years ago, THE AMERICAN made rodeo history when bareback rider Richmond Champion became the first cowboy to win more than $1 million for a single, eight-second ride. He became an instant millionaire at the age of 21.
Sunday’s broadcast on CBS will feature the Shoot-Out round where the top four finalists in seven events battle head-to-head for $2 million with the highest score or fastest-winning time. Since 2014, rodeo athletes have earned more than $10 million at THE AMERICAN and Semi-Finals, making this rodeo a perfect competition to be showcased on network television.
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