NASHVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 12, 2018 – RFD-TV today announced that DISH saddled up as presenting sponsor of the world’s richest one-day rodeo, The American. On February 25 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Tex., athletes who advance through a U.S. Open-style gauntlet of qualifiers will compete against the best cowboys and cowgirls for their share of a $1 million “American Dream” cash prize, part of the overall $2.5 million purse. Additionally, DISH is introducing two new prizes to The American: an “Up-and-Comer” $5K scholarship earned by a young competitor who shows the most promise, and a “Back in the Saddle” $5K check awarded to the contestant who’s displayed the most resilience.
“Rural America has always been the backbone of our company, and we jumped at the opportunity to reconnect with this incredible community in recognizing its fearless athletes with some amazing prizes,” said Jay Roth, CMO of DISH. “DISH is a founder-led company that started from humble beginnings more than 35 years ago. We built our business on the principle of bringing TV to the millions of Americans living in places without access to cable.”
Going into its fifth year, The American brings the best cowboys and cowgirls together for one day of heart stopping, dirt flying, rodeo action. Qualifying athletes who advance to the Semi-Finals (February 21-24 at the Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas) take on top ranked cowboys and cowgirls from the PBR, PRCA and WPRA in seven different events: team roping, barrel racing, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, bareback, saddle bronc and bull riding. Anyone can qualify for the Semi-Finals, and anyone who advances to the Finals and out-rides or out-ropes the sport’s elite stars wins $100,000, and their share of the “American Dream” $1 million purse.
“We’ve enjoyed a longstanding relationship with DISH, which was the first major TV provider to offer customers RFD-TV and The Cowboy Channel many years ago,” said Patrick Gottsch, Founder and President of Rural Media Group. “DISH helped us deliver rural and western lifestyle programming to all corners of America. From the beginning, they have understood and shared our values of hard work, grit and resilience, and it’s great to have such a fitting partner onboard as presenting sponsor of The American.”
The American will be televised on RFD-TV (DISH ch. 231) and The Cowboy Channel (DISH ch. 232) on February 25 at 3 p.m. ET.
In 2017, three “underdogs” rose from the Semi-Finals to split the $1 million side pot: saddle bronc rider Cody Demoss, barrel racer Hailey Kinsel and bull riding champion Sage Kimzey. Each took home $433,333 – $100,000 for winning their respective event and an additional $333,333 each after splitting the $1 million side pot three ways.
RFD-TV is the flagship network for Rural Media Group. Launched in December of 2000, RFD-TV is the nation’s first 24-hour television network featuring programming focused on the agribusiness, equine and the rural lifestyles, along with traditional country music and entertainment. RFD-TV produces six hours of live news each weekday in support of rural America and is a leading independent cable channel available in more than 50 million homes on DISH Network, DIRECTV®, AT&T U-Verse, Charter Spectrum, Cox, Comcast, Mediacom, Suddenlink, and many other rural cable systems. In addition, RFD-TV can be streamed online via The Country Club at rfdcc.com, DIRECTV NOW, Roku, and Sling TV’s Heartland Extra package. For more information, please visit RFDTV.com.
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DISH Network Corporation is a connectivity company. Since 1980, DISH has served as the disruptive force in the pay-TV industry, driving innovation and value on behalf of consumers. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides television entertainment and award-winning technology to millions of customers with its satellite DISH TV and streaming Sling TV services. DISH operates a national in-home installation workforce, as well as an advertising sales group delivering targeted advertising solutions on DISH TV and Sling TV. In addition to its TV services, DISH has commenced buildout of a nationwide narrowband "Internet of Things" network that will apply capacity from its strategic spectrum portfolio. DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) is a Fortune 200 company.
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RFD-TV’s The American, presented by DISH