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The USTRC and the World Se­ries of Team Rop­ing part­ner with RidePass for stream­ing world-class cov­er­age of the Cinch Na­tional Fi­nals of Team Rop­ing and Ariat World Se­ries of Team Rop­ing Fi­nale XIII. by Chelsea Shaf­fer

Change is com­ing to the way team rop­ers and fans watch the sport they know and love, just in time for the Cinch Na­tional Fi­nals of Team Rop­ing and the Ariat World Se­ries of Team Rop­ing Fi­nale XIII.

Ac­tive In­ter­est Me­dia, the par­ent com­pany of the United States Team Rop­ing Cham­pi­onships and the World Se­ries of Team Rop­ing, signed a me­dia rights rep­re­sen­ta­tion agree­ment with Pro­fes­sional Bull Rid­ers that will in­clude livestream­ing both year-end events this win­ter on RidePass, the group’s Western sports dig­i­tal net­work.

The agree­ment will also lever­age the ex­per­tise of PBR’s par­ent com­pany, En­deavor, to grow team rop­ing through ex­panded me­dia cov­er­age and sto­ry­telling. En­deavor, also owner of the Ul­ti­mate Fight­ing Cham­pi­onship, is a global leader in sports, en­ter­tain­ment, fash­ion, me­dia, and events, op­er­at­ing in more than 30 coun­tries. En­deavor and the PBR launched RidePass in Fe­bru­ary 2018, stream­ing nearly ev­ery PBR event glob­ally, as well as Cal­gary Stam­pede, Days of ’47, World Cham­pi­onship Rodeo Al­liance events, Rodeo All-Star, the NHSRA Ju­nior High and High School Fi­nals, orig­i­nal se­ries, and more.

Team rop­ing fans will be able to pur­chase an an­nual sub­scrip­tion to RidePass to watch ev­ery round of the Cinch NFTR and Ariat WSTR Fi­nale XIII live or on-de­mand, as well as hun­dreds of hours of Western sports pro­gram­ming through­out the year. Both events will also be avail­able at a pay-per-view rate.

“Our part­ner­ship with En­deavor/ RidePass cre­ates an op­por­tu­nity al­low­ing true Western sports fans a sin­gle chan­nel to watch all of the Western sports that they can’t watch now,” said Tom Win­sor, se­nior VP of Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment and Equine for AIM. “It will al­low our flag­ship events to be broad­cast ef­fec­tively and professionally.”

PBR and En­deavor in­vested three years beta-test­ing the service with its bull rid­ing con­tent, PBR Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent Chad Blanken­ship said. “We learned about mar­ket de­mand,

fan ex­pec­ta­tions, and got bet­ter at high-qual­ity pro­duc­tion,” Blanken­ship said. “Our am­bi­tion is to el­e­vate team rop­ing by bring­ing fans more of its com­pelling sto­ries via both stream­ing and TV, which will also con­trib­ute to new and big­ger spon­sor­ship deals—and big­ger purses.”

RidePass is look­ing to add more World Se­ries of Team Rop­ing and USTRC events in 2019 and will of­fer a world-class pro­duc­tion crew to pro­vide rop­ers with a bet­ter view­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, Blanken­ship said.

This move came out of ne­ces­sity for the World Se­ries of Team Rop­ing and USTRC, AIM Di­rec­tor of Rop­ing Op­er­a­tions Denny Gen­try said, to meet de­mand and keep pro­vid­ing the stream­ing service to mem­bers.

“Each Western sports or­ga­ni­za­tion only has a cou­ple of events a year worth tele­cast­ing and with costs sky­rock­et­ing, the busi­ness ne­ces­sity be­comes ques­tion­able,” Gen­try said. “How­ever, a cen­tral­ized service such as RidePass that presents a pack­age for all dis­ci­plines can pro­vide the con­tent on a reg­u­lar ba­sis and hit other ar­eas that cow­boys and cow­girls will also be in­ter­ested in, cre­at­ing pro­duc­tion ef­fi­cien­cies. (For the first time) year-round cov­er­age and rev­enue shar­ing are a pos­si­bil­ity.”

For years, the USTRC and World Se­ries of Team Rop­ing have eaten the cost of video tech­ni­cians, band­width, edit­ing, and mul­ti­ple cam­eras, 12 hours per day, Gen­try said. With tech­nol­ogy costs on the rise, now is the time to part­ner with RidePass and gain ac­cess to their sta­teof-the-art pro­duc­tion. Plus, RidePass will have the op­tion to stream other World Se­ries of Team Rop­ing and USTRC events that have never been of­fered on a stream­ing plat­form be­fore, Gen­try said.

RidePass’ part­ner­ship with AIM’s team rop­ing as­so­ci­a­tions will go be­yond livestream­ing se­lect events, Blanken­ship said. The larger part­ner­ship’s fo­cus is to un­leash the power of En­deavor to bring team rop­ing con­tent to new au­di­ences and other plat­forms, such as Net­flix—as they did with the ac­claimed Fearless PBR docu-se­ries which they co-pro­duced—and tele­vi­sion, much like when PBR pro­duced The Amer­i­can, Cal­gary Stam­pede, and Days of ’47 for CBS Sports.

AIM will also part­ner with RidePass on a spe­cial se­ries called Amer­i­can Cow­boy TV, that will of­fer eight orig­i­nal episodes cov­er­ing le­gends of the cow­boy world, with in-depth in­ter­views and his­tor­i­cal footage.

“One of the things we’ve learned from 25 years of PBR live events and TV pro­duc­ing is the im­por­tance of sto­ry­telling,” Blanken­ship said. “As fans, we fol­low sports be­cause we feel a con­nec­tion to it, usu­ally through the ath­letes. Our part­ner­ship with AIM is to tell those re­ally com­pelling sto­ries of the thou­sands and thou­sands of com­peti­tors, both hu­man and equine.”

An an­nual sub­scrip­tion to RidePass works out to $6.99 per month, or $83.88 an­nu­ally. It’s avail­able at RidePass.com and via apps for iPhone, iPads, An­droid phones, tablets, and Chrome­cast. Prior to the Cinch NFTR, it will also come to Roku, Xbox, and PlayS­ta­tion; and, by the end of the year, it will be avail­able on Ap­pleTV and Sam­sung TV.


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