The Professional Bull Riders group is taking its rodeo where none have gone before: an aircraft carrier.
PBR Air Force Reserve Cowboys for a Cause will take place aboard the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi, Tex., and air on CBS on Dec. 5. The event launches the PBR Cowboys for a Cause: Every Second Counts, a new initiative that will raise money for charitable organizations.
“We are excited to partner with PBR and the USS Lexington on this special event,” said Dan Weinberg, EVP, Programming, CBS Sports. “We always work with our partners to innovate and bring unique content to our viewers, and this showcase exemplifies that commitment.”
The announcement comes as bull riding is gaining TV popularity. The Sept. 11-13 PBR Ariat Invitational telecast peaked at 1.8 million viewers with an average of 1.5 million over the course of an hour, higher than the average viewership of that weekend’s U.S. Open men’s final on ESPN (1.4 million), NBA playoffs on ESPN (1.3 million), the NHL playoffs on NBC (944,000) and IndyCar racing on NBC (635,000).
PBR plans to construct a bull riding arena on the launch deck of the aircraft carrier also known as “The Blue Ghost,” hauling in 300 tons of dirt and steel as well as 15 miles of copper and fiber optic cable to support the event. Bulls will be brought into the arena on the same elevator used to lift planes on to the deck.
“While we’ve bucked bulls in Times Square, on Huntington Beach, and in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard, the deck of the USS Lexington has long been on our list of iconic places for the most exciting eight seconds in sports,” said PBR Commissioner Sean Gleason. “As we get ready to close out a very challenging year, PBR wants to present an early holiday gift of an unforgettable bull riding event atop the grand and historic USS Lexington to the fans who support us through thick and thin and to military families who sacrifice so much for everyone.”
The event will feature five teams of three cowboys and will be closed to the general public. PBR will offer ultimate experience ticket packages and exclusive viewing for VIP guests and members of the military. The proceeds of the event will be donated to Operation Homefront, an organization that provides financial support, housing and various resources to U.S. military families.