The Best Professional Bull Riders

The Professional Bull Riders, Inc. (PBR) is a global specialist bull riding company based in Pueblo, Colorado that has actually been telecasting occasions since 2012 to the United States on CBS and also its affiliate network of channels. This relationship was just recently approved for another 3 years after two successful seasons with an agreement worth $100 million according to The New York Times article “CBS Sports Network Signs Multi-Year Deal With Professional Bull Riders”.

In 2018, the PBR released RidePass; its very own subscription-based video clip as needed solution that live-streams PBR occasions, along with PBR-produced occasions for various other western sporting activity companies. On July 20, 2021, RidePass, currently called PBR RidePass, switched over from a subscription-based streaming solution to a complimentary, ad-supported streaming network on Pluto TELEVISION. More than 600 cowboys from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Australia and also various other nations hold PBR subscriptions.


In 1992, 20 bull-riding specialists assembled in a Scottsdale resort area and also each added $1,000 to start the Professional Bull Riders Association. The goal of this team was to produce an event that would allow fans see “the best of the best” when they watched every time. But it wasn't until later on in 1995 with Ty Murray's leadership as well as 9 world champ titles under his belt that PBR truly saw success come their way.

In 2007, investment company Spire Capital Partners obtained a bulk risk in PBR and also transformed those owners’ $1,000 right into millions. In April 2015, Endeavor (previously WME | IMG), an international leader in numerous sectors, purchased the PBR.

Since the start of the very first excursion in 1994 with the Bud Light Cup Series (BLC), the company has actually turned into 3 trips which phase over 300 occasions in the United States each year. Prize cash had actually blown up from over $330,000 in 1994 to over $11 million in 2008.

The initial Chief Executive Officer of the PBR was Sam Applebaum. Randy Bernard came to be Chief Executive Officer of the PBR in 1995, a placement he held up until he surrendered in 2010 to come to be the Chief Executive Officer of INDYCAR.When Bernard took control of the setting of Chief Executive Officer in 1995, it was after the verdict of the very first World Finals in Las Vegas, Nevada. At that time, the PBR's checking account held $8,000. It was $140,000 in the red.

Bernard, a strong and also smart businessman, quickly went to work. At the end of his first year, he turned things around. The World Finals paid out $1 million, and also increased to $1.5 million in 1999. That same year, the World Finals were moved to the Thomas & Mack Center and the event grew to be the most famed one in bull riding. Then in 2016, the finals moved again when the new T-Mobile Arena was completed.

In 1996, the PBR made bull riding protective vests, which were introduced three years earlier, mandatory for all contestants at their events.

In 2003, the Bud Light Cup Series became the Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS). Then the PBR started paying its world champions a $1 million bonus. Chris Shivers was the first world champion to claim that bonus.

In 2005, the PBR opened offices in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Australia to produce events in said countries starting the next year.

In 2007, the PBR had enough of its cramped office in downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado. They moved their headquarters to a new 4-story building just outside Pueblo, Colorado.

2009 was the first year in which the majority of contestants on the PBR’s televised premier series rode with helmets instead of cowboy hats.

On February 23, 2011, the PBR announced that Jim Haworth had become its new CEO.Then on June 29, 2015, the PBR announced that Haworth was promoted to Chairman, while COO Sean Gleason had become the new CEO.

In 2013, the PBR made it mandatory that all contestants at their events who were born on or after October 15, 1994 ride with a full bull riding helmet. Those born before that date were grandfathered in and permitted to ride with a protective face mask underneath their cowboy hat or simply with their cowboy hat if so desired.

By 2018, the PBR had grown into a global organization which has awarded over $180 million in prize money. The PBR turned 25 in 2018 and awarded another $11 million in prize money which included the bonus to the World Champion Bull Rider of $1 million and the $20,000 gold belt buckle.

The Professional Bull Riders hosted their inaugural World Finals in 1994 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Unfortunately, they remained there until 1998 when it became apparent that Las Vegas was a little too small for them and needed to move on up! The PBR moved its event from 1999-2015 to the Thomas & Mack Center as more spacious accommodations were necessary then ever before – now with three times more seats than any other previous venue!

The 2015 World Finals was the 17th and last time the event was hosted at the venue. In 2016, the PBR moved their World Finals event from the Thomas & Mack Center to the T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip.In 2020, as a result of COVID-19 and Nevada state restrictions on large events, the PBR World Finals were temporarily located at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas with a limited and socially distanced crowd for every day of competition. The PBR World Finals is scheduled to return to Las Vegas in 2021.


Cowboys and cowgirls from all over the world compete in events sanctioned by PBR, including Brazilians, Canadians, Mexicans (and other countries). The champion is awarded a $1 million bonus. You can see these awesome rodeo athletes on 300 televised events around the globe!

The PBR has become one of the most globally successful television sports programs. The PBR elite tour is televised weekly on CBS Sports, CBS Sports Network, and other networks around the globe. PBR television broadcasts now reach half a billion households in 130 territories around the world. A new digital network named RidePass that started in February 2018 adds hundreds of hours of bull riding and other western sports to anytime availability.

From 2007 to 2010, the PBR also hosted a team competition format called the PBR World Cup, where 25 bull riders (altogether representing five countries) competed to win the title of best bull rider in the world. In 2017, a new event, the PBR Global Cup, again offers bull riders a chance to compete in a five country competition.

This new event is a different format from the PBR World Cup; it's not a continuation of the old event. It's staged annually across five countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and United States. National team riders are matched against the best of each. The home country is granted a competitive advantage. It's a series that visits each nation each year and continues until one nation holds all five pieces of the Global Cup—including the native soil of each territory. Thus, only one country can claim The Toughest Nation on Dirt.

Total viewership, including event attendees and the television audience, grew 52 percent between 2002 and 2004. In 2004, 16.4 million fans watched or attended a PBR event. By 2008, over 100 million watched the PBR on television, and over 1.7 million attended a live event. In 1995 roughly 310,000 fans attended an event. Now, around 3 million fans attend a live event.

Since 2006, Canada, Brazil, Australia, and Mexico have each had their own PBR tours, and points earned on those tours count towards the U.S. qualifier standings and a spot in the PBR World Finals. In 2014, a PBR-sanctioned event was held in New Zealand.

PBR tours

The PBR started their inaugural season in 1994 with one tour. Today, it offers three tours and eligibility of contestants at each level is based on previous performance.

Current tours

Unleash the Beast Series

Starting in 2018, the elite series, or premier series tour changed title sponsors and the Unleash the Beast Series (UTB) tour name replaced the Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) tour name. The UTB opens at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, in January every season as always.

The UTB series is where the best riders and bulls compete, and it culminates in the PBR World Finals at completion of the year, which have taken place in Las Vegas, Nevada, for the last 26 years. However, in 2020, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the finals were temporarily relocated to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Previous finals were held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena from 1994 to 1998, the Thomas & Mack Center from 1999 to 2015,and also T-Mobile Arena from 2016 to 2019.

Velocity Tour

To make the world of rodeo more accessible to a wider audience, The Velocity Tour was created in 2014. It features young and up-coming talent competing against established stars from throughout the country. For three years it featured events that were not part of their main UTB series at different venues around America, but because COVID-19 has restricted travel for athletes touring outside Las Vegas or Texas starting 2020 they have been forced to find new options within those states only – which is why Sioux Falls will be hosting this year's finals!

The Velocity Tour offers the chance to earn points to attempt to qualify for the UTB series and also the PBR World Finals. Additionally, every winner of a Velocity Tour regular-season occasion will be seeded at one UTB event during the season, providing another opportunity for the PBR's newer talent to increase their position in the overall world standings.

Touring Pro Division

On January 1, 2010, the PBR announced a brand-new minor tour. This new tour, the Touring Pro Division, replaced the Challenger, Enterprise, and Discovery Tours. Like the lower-level tours it replaced, it offers up-and-coming bull riders and others not in UTB occasions the ability to compete in PBR events so they can attempt to earn points to qualify for the elite series and also the PBR World Finals.

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