With the sudden onset of COVID-19 across America, the impact throughout the entire Western industry has been substantial. From closed doors to cancelled events and exploded marketing plans, the crisis has had an effect in every far reaching corner. COWGIRL wanted to explore the impact by asking three simple questions to women who not only live, but work the Western way of life:
- What did you do to continue being productive in the face of COVID-19 shut downs?
- What is the most positive effect of your efforts to adapt to the restrictions?
- What is the most negative result these shut downs had on you?
RG: “As the saying goes…the show must go on! At The Cowboy Channel, we still had to make sure that we continued to produce great programming each night. We were right in the middle of RodeoHouston when the music stopped, but we never slowed down.
“We put together 40 Nights of NFR—which turned into 60 nights—bringing viewers the last 60 rounds from Las Vegas. And as the shelter in place orders continued, we added 40 Days of Texas Rodeo, never before seen in the United States coverage of past years’ Calgary Stampede, and continued to produce Western Sports Round-Up Monday-Friday to keep viewers and Western sports fans around the country up-to-date.
“Thankfully, media is considered an essential business. And with so many of the large rodeos cancelling this year, it gave us the opportunity to start building connections with many of the medium and small rodeos across the country. Even though our programming schedule has changed, this year’s summer and fall rodeo run will show the heart of rural America. For us, it was the revamping of our programming schedule. Yes, we got creative and were able to continue producing great programming, but nothing compares to live sports on television. Every one of us was looking forward to broadcasting many rodeos in their entirety for the first time live on national television–Calgary Stampede, Cheyenne Frontier Days, Pendleton Round-Up. Cancelling these top rodeos in our line-up for this year was heartbreaking, but we just look at it as now it gives us more time to all work together to create an even better show on television for next year.”