By: Kristian Limas
May 12, 2016
PUEBLO, Co. – Clint Adkins is quick to point out that you can just call him “C.A.” these days. When you have one of highest-rated shows on PBR LIVE Adkins – ok, C.A. – doesn’t really need formalities.
The confidence is not unwarranted, though, because through 15 episodes, “The Clint Adkins Show” has given fans a weekly inside look into the PBR with the trademark humor and energy that has defined his in-arena announcing.
Though if you ask Adkins himself, he’ll tell you he’s still learning.
“It does feel a little surreal,” Adkins said. “I’ve just now started getting comfortable in my own skin doing it and I’ve enjoyed it and it’s been a labor of love. I can only imagine where it’s going to go.”
“The Clint Adkins Show” can best be described as “The Dan Patrick Show” with a cowboy twist. Each week, C.A. welcomes guests from across the PBR world to discuss everything from the Built Ford Tough Series and BlueDEF Tours, to Shorty Gorham’s preference for using dynamite when bass fishing.
The humor is always evident on “The Clint Adkins Show,” and it’s not uncommon for PBR Senior Writer / Editor Justin Felisko to get thrown in jail for not answering when Adkins calls.
This week, C.A. welcomes Felisko back to talk about this weekend’s Last Cowboy Standing. He’ll also chat with Luke Snyder – the first Last Cowboy Standing champion in 2011 – and four-time PRCA champion J.W. Harris.
Hosting a weekly 30-minute-long talk show on top of hitting the road for the BFTS tour can be a daunting task, but the team behind the C.A. show has caught on quickly.
For his part, Adkins is no stranger to the microphone. Adkins has been the BFTS in-arena announcer since 2006, a role he took on after years of being a rodeo announcer since the late 90s.
In fact, it was in 1996 when he first caught a glimpse of the PBR that helped push him into his eventual career.
“I first saw the PBR in 1996 in San Antonio, Texas, at the Freeman Coliseum,” Adkins recalled. “That was back in the infancy of the professional bull riders, I had heard about them a couple of years back and I knew that they were forming and I had never been to one of their events at the time.”
Being a Texas native, and immersed in the rodeo world since childhood, he already had an inkling that rodeo is where he wanted to be. But even he wasn’t expecting what he saw that day.
“That was the first time I was exposed to it, and when I saw it, it changed my life,” he said. “I was already thinking of becoming a professional rodeo announcer and when I saw what the PBR was doing, I immediately grasped on to where they were going to take it as a sport. It was a stunning revelation in my life.”
Fast forward 20 years, and “C.A.” has since added “TV personality” to his resume, commenting on a sport that draws thousands of fans in-arena and online through PBR LIVE. The platform has given him a chance to expand the fan experience and provide the kind of commentary and content that rival any of the traditional North American sports.
That doesn’t happen by accident. Going from arena announcer to talk show host on a weekly basis isn’t a straight transition. Adkins admits that even going from a rodeo announcer to the PBR was a challenge.
“I had to go to amateur rodeos and any other bull riding I could and study the PBR to figure out what they wanted me to do in this role,” Adkins said. “I knew my role as a rodeo announcer would not fit as a PBR in-arena announcer because they’re two totally different mediums, so if you asked me today to go back and do a rodeo I’d probably be pretty rusty because it’s a totally different delivery.”
Now imagine going from announcing an event in a packed arena to sitting in a studio in your Texas home and chatting with a guest and it’s not hard to see how many adjustments have to be made.
That’s without even considering the ever growing worldwide audience that PBR LIVE has attracted through the introduction of the PBR LIVE app and weekly internet broadcasts of BFTS events.
Adkins knows that as the audience evolves, he has to evolve as well. It means thinking outside of the Western sports box and being welcoming and informative to fans both new and old.
“I’m going tell you what, today we have so many new fans that are coming to events that what I would do 10 years ago and how I would present the sport is different then what I would do today,” Adkins said. “There is more education involved and I do talk more about the rules. It has definitely changed because of the demographics of the new fans. We got so many of them that are brand new.”
In a way, “The Clint Adkins Show” is leading the charge for the PBR into the app age. The way a fan watches and keeps up with their sport of choice has changed rapidly, and if you’re not on the forefront of internet streaming and app utilization you will lose a lot of eyeballs.
This is a fact that is not lost on Adkins.
“The future of sports, and viewing habits will change, they are already changing,” Adkins said. “There is new technology and new avenues for us to broadcast our events to the fans at home and it is no secret that all of our stuff is going to apps, it’s going to phones and it’s where more folks are viewing their coverage from.”
He knows this is just the beginning.
“That’s where it’s going,” Adkins said. “I don’t think TV will ever go away, but at the end of the day, in like five years I think there will be a lot more shows than just mine. Mine’s just the first one.”
Fifteen episodes into the first season, he has seen momentous growth beyond what anybody expected when the idea was first pitched. It was something impossible to picture when he first started on the BFTS in 2006.
“No not then, they didn’t even know back then just how big it was going to get,” he admitted. “You know they (the PBR) had a pretty good idea, but this was far beyond even their wildest dreams and mine.”
And just because he was the first doesn’t mean he expects to be the last. Adkins believes the C.A. Show fills a unique and important need for both the hardcore and casual PBR fans. His overall philosophy is making sure he can give fans a new angle to view the sport, and leave them with something they otherwise would not have had.
“I want to try to tell you something you didn’t know and talk about the stories about the guys that you’re not going to hear on television,” Adkins said. “That comes through our process and we’re going to get better at doing that as we go along. The message is ‘tell me something I don’t know about the guys’ and that’s what I want to bring.”
He notes how important it is to get those unique voices in the PBR because some of the best stories come from unexpected places.
“I want to bring the other people you may not hear from,” Adkins said. “Like the photographer, Andy Watson. He has been here for years how did he get so good at what he does?”
He raises his voice and asks “Who is Andy Watson!?”
They answer that in Episode 8, but it’s not the last time the Clint Adkins Show will answer those burning questions.
So you can call Adkins an innovator, maybe even the vanguard, but like he said before, you can just call him C.A.
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