ESPN drops weekly rodeo broadcasts
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2003:
CHICAGO–“Ever heard of the Outdoor Life Network? I
haven’t,” SHARK founder and longtime anti-rodeo campaigner Steve
Hindi e-mailed to ANIMAL PEOPLE at deadline. “Nevertheless, that is
where most of the televised rodeos for the 2003 Professional Rodeo
Cowboys Association season will be aired. The love affair between
the ESPN and the PRCA seems to be over.
“We don’t know the sordid details of the apparent breakup,”
Hindi added, “but we have some clues. A few weeks ago, I was
called by a producer for an ESPN show called ‘Outside the Lines.’
This program, I was told, delves behind hype and headlines in
examining sports issues. Incredibly, ‘Outside the Lines’ was
interested in looking at rodeo. I told the producer that if ‘Outside
the Lines’ did a story on rodeos, ESPN would never be able to air
another rodeo, as the truth would be known and admitted to by the
network. The producer said he wanted to go forward nonetheless.
“After that, I didn’t hear from the producer again. I left
messages, but got no response. Now perhaps we know why.
“I told the producer that the PRCA would hit the roof when
they found out that they were going to be investigated,” Hindi said.
“I strongly suspect that the PRCA not only hit the roof but left the
“There are still a few rodeos scheduled to air on the major
networks this year,” Hindi concluded. “But the weekly coverage on
ESPN is at least for now over.”