(Editor's note: PBR media release)
PUEBLO, Colo. – For the first time, the Indian National Finals Rodeo (INFR) will be televised, with RIDE TV carrying the championship round live from South Point Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, October 26. RIDE will also air five, one-hour INFR highlight shows in December on dates to be announced. Those will showcase action from earlier INFR rounds.
The 44th annual INFR will again take over the South Point Arena October 22 - 26, 2019, with over 400 Native American athletes from 50 tribes in the U.S. and Canada competing in the Major and Junior-Senior events.
PBR (Professional Bull Riders), which represents INFR’s media rights, brokered the deal with RIDE TV, the nation’s first and only television network dedicated exclusively to equestrian sports, culture and lifestyle.
“INFR is honored to join forces with RIDE TV and RidePass to host the first INFR to be carried on live television,” said Donna Hoyt, INFR General Manager. “This has been a vision and goal for some time. We have a great media partnership with PBR, and it has made this vision a reality for our members. We are excited for INFR professional cowboys and cowgirls to have the opportunity to be on national TV as well as RidePass, the leading western sports digital network.”
The INFR has been an important part of Indian Rodeo tradition and culture for more than 40 years. Since 1976, INFR has become the premier arena where champion American Indian cowboys and cowgirls compete against each other in the sport of professional Indian Rodeo. The INFR, which has more than 3,000 members representing 12 regions from the United States and Canada, sanctions more than 20 Tour Rodeos and close to 100 region rodeos annually, culminating at the Indian National Finals Rodeo held in Las Vegas, NV. October 22-26, 2019 and awarding more than $1 million in cash and prizes. The INFR is more than just rodeo in leading the way with diabetes awareness and suicide prevention campaigns. The nonprofit 501 c (3) organization also awards college scholarships to Native rodeo athletes.
“RIDE TV features the highest quality rodeo programming and the Indian National Finals Rodeo certainly fits into that category,” said Craig Morris, President of RIDE TV. “The INFR embodies thrilling competition, culture, and tradition, and we believe RIDE TV viewers are really going to love this iconic event. We’re so pleased that our partnership with the PBR has led us to the INFR.”
All 10 rounds of the INFR will also be carried live by RidePass, the PBR’s western sports digital network.
“In representing INFR’s media rights, PBR is proud to bring another rodeo to television, increasing coverage of the sport to meet fan demand while creating new fans,” said PBR CEO Sean Gleason. “Natives have a rich history in rodeo and bull riding, and we will continue to work to showcase these great athletes and tell their stories. RIDE TV has been a great partner of PBR in carrying the red-hot PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour, and we’re excited about their new INFR programming.”