A Dallas/Fort Worth television station this past week aired viewer questions and/or comments on various subjects. One such question from a viewer in Weatherford was why doesn’t the television media sports departments cover rodeos? The questioner went on to state that it is a sport and that the contestants place their lives at risk for that sport they love. The answer was palmed off with a “the sports director is listening.”
In my book that’s not good enough. Rodeo is a sport. It is a sport where a contestant earns no wage and pays all their own expenses to play. Their reward – a buckle and some prize money that enables them to go on to the next event. While trying to earn that buckle and some money they place their lives literally on the line. These athletes have sports injuries on top of sports injuries.
This Examiner is not just talking about the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo coverage but the hundreds of rodeos around the country. Not to mention that some of the largest are right here in our lone star state. Fort Worth, San Antonio, Houston, San Angelo and El Paso are major stops along the year-long rodeo circuit.
Yes, the local media covers some of the lighter sides of the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo but what about the actual rodeo events and the players themselves. They are not hard to get an interview with. The Stock Show has an entire media department to help as does the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), but there is no coverage. Why?
One media outlet told me it was because they wouldn’t let the camera man down on the arena floor to video the action. They won’t let them on the arena floor for their own protection. The animals that are used in the events of rodeos are not from the petting zoo, they are wild and in the case of bulls they consider a photographer with a video camera a good target.
Could the reason be that almost every major rodeo has a local television station as a sponsor? Well, that doesn’t hold water as the NFL has major sponsor television networks. As does college football. And while these are being sponsored and shown on a specific television channel each of the other stations cover the results and highlights.
Rodeos in this area and across America are big ticket items. People from all over the World come to the major rodeos in America. In early December of every year, the National Finals Rodeo takes over Las Vegas. It fills every hotel, show and eating establishment in the city and it does get cable coverage. But where are the networks and the local stations?
I invite your comments as to why you think rodeos are not covered.