The 2018 National Finals Rodeo will be an incredible experience for rodeo fans all over the United States. The NFR is shaping up to be one of the most competitive and entertaining rodeos that the world has ever seen. The National Finals Rodeo is taking place in Las Vegas from December 6th to the 15th and there will be rodeo events every single night. The top cowboys in the world will be putting their boots on and taking each other on to try and claim a world championship in their respective events. Mark your calendars and make sure you do not miss out on a single second of action this December.
The season-ending NFR championship is one of the sport’s premier events including Bareback Riding, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, Saddle Bronc Riding, Tie-Down Roping, Barrel Racing, and Bull Riding. CBS Sports Network will air the 10-day WNFR from Thomas & Mack Center Las Vegas, Nevada. So, don’t miss a single moment of the WNFR action. Don’t worry, If you can’t attend in Las Vegas NFR, we’ll discuss here how to watch NFR online real-time TV coverage.
- 1 When is the National Finals Rodeo?
- 2 Where will the Las Vegas NFR be held?
- 3 What TV Channel will the NFR be on?
- 4 How to watch NFR Live Stream Online
- 5 NFR Free Streaming Services
- 6 How you can Tune In NFR 2018
- 7 NFR Live Streaming on Social Media
- 8 Everything You Need to Know About NFR
- 9 Main Events
- 10 Contestants
- 11 Super Bowl of Rodeo
- 12 Miss Rodeo America
- 13 Cowboy Christmas
- 14 Standings
- 15 NFR Prize Money
- 16 Last Words
When is the National Finals Rodeo?
For individuals who plan on attending the NFR festivities in Las Vegas, there are a variety of sponsored activities to get involved with during the 10-day period between 9:00AM to 5:00PM (PT). Each night’s NFR performances will officially take place between 6:45PM to 9:00PM (PT). See complete NFR schedule page.
Where will the Las Vegas NFR be held?
All of the NFR’s main performances will take place at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Normally home of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) college basketball team, this venue can seat up to 20,000 people and is consistently sold out for the NFR.
What TV Channel will the NFR be on?
The entirety of the NFR’s main performances will air live on the CBS Sports Network from December 6th to December 15th beginning at 7:00PM (PT) every night. Because this is an exclusive deal between the network and the PRCA, the NFR will not be shown on any other TV network during the 10-day period.
How to watch NFR Live Stream Online
If one is unable to watch the NFR via TV, streaming could be a viable option instead. The only official streaming service for the NFR is Pro Rodeo TV and it will stream all of the NFR’s main performances concurrently with the CBS Sports Network’s broadcast, beginning at 7:00PM (PT). For those who happen to miss the broadcast in its entirety or specific portions of it, the Pro Rodeo TV streaming service allows for on-demand viewing 12 hours after the conclusion of the CBS Sports Network TV broadcast. Two out of the service’s three subscription types allow for the viewing of this year’s NFR competition.
- Annual Subscription ($79.99/year for a limited time)
- Wrangler NFR Subscription ($79.99 one-time fee)
- Allows for live viewing access or on-demand viewing access. This subscription allows for on-demand access to all of the NFR 2018’s performances through January 1st of the following calendar year.
NFR Live Stream Using a VPN
Some countries will not allow the viewing of certain websites and can block them based on the location gathered from an individual’s IP address. In these situations, a reliable and encrypted VPN (Virtual Private Network) can prove to be helpful. A VPN will allow an individual to remotely connect to a server located in a different country that allows the desired website viewing to take place. The following VPNs can prove to be very useful:
- This source offers a selection of servers that spans over 90 countries. Currently, they offer monthly ($12.95/month), semi-annual ($59.95/6-months), and annual ($99.95) plans. Included with each plan is the offer of a 30-day money back guarantee in the event that a user is dissatisfied.
- The offering from this source includes servers that span over 60 countries. The current subscription plans consist of monthly ($10/month), quarterly ($26.99/3-months), and annual ($77.99/year) options. Included with each plan is the offer of a 7-day money back guarantee in the event that a user is dissatisfied.
- While maintaining a selection of servers that spans over 60 countries, this VPN source currently has subscription plans that consist of monthly ($11.95/month), semi-annual ($54/6-months), annual ($83.88/year), and bi-annual ($95.75/2-years) options.
NFR Free Streaming Services
While there are no “official” ways to view the NFR stream for free without cable, there are several ways that one could go about still tapping into other resources to create a temporary viewing experience without incurring an extra cost. While it may take some combination of luck and signing up for particular services close to the time of the event just to cancel them shortly after, the efforts can still be made nonetheless. The following are some platforms where these strategies could be useful:
Allows for the viewing of over 65 live channels at $40/month. In order to take advantage of the free possibilities, one would have to sign up and receive the free 7-day trial. If timed properly, one could watch the majority of the NFR during the free trial period and cancel free of charge prior to the trial’s expiration.
Sling TV does not cover CBS or any other local broadcast station such as ABC, Fox, or NBC. As a result, this would not be a viable option for viewing the NFR since the events are primarily broadcast through CBS Sports Network.
Allows for the viewing of over 50 live channels at $39.99/month. In order to take advantage of the free possibilities, one would have to sign up and receive the free 7-day trial. Once the trial is up, one could cancel the service free of charge.
Allows for the viewing of over 50 live channels at $40/month. In order to take advantage of the free possibilities, one would have to sign up and receive the free 7-day trial. Once the trial is up, one could cancel the service free of charge.
Allows for the viewing of over 75 channels at $49.99/month. In order to take advantage of the free possibilities, one would have to sign up and receive the free 5-day trial. Once the trial is up, one could cancel the service free of charge.
How you can Tune In NFR 2018
You can watch the Wrangler NFR on your local CBS Sports Network. You can also watch the rodeo on Pro Rodeo TV as well. Make sure that you watch every single night from December 6th to December 15th as you will not want to miss any of the incredible cowboys. With 6 exciting events happening every night, there is something for every fan.
NFR Live Streaming on Social Media
One increasingly popular method of viewing live events comes in the form of social media viewing. The way this typically works is through an individual using their mobile device to live stream the event to a social media platform of their choosing. The most popular platforms for this method are as follows:
The most popular video-sharing site on the planet has historically built its name upon uploaded videos. However, the site now allows live-streaming capabilities, making it perfect for free viewing of live events such as NFR, as long as a streaming user can be found.
Various individual accounts or pages are bound to be streaming the NFR events. Interested individuals will have to search for these opportunities throughout the platform as it gets closer to the festivities.
This platform has increasingly become the go-to place for action as it happens in real-time. That makes it a prime destination when searching for all things related to NFR. A quick search bar or hashtag follow will almost assuredly lead to the discovery someone streaming the NFR.
Mainly known as a news aggregation site, this platform has increasingly become a well-known discussion forum hub. Within those forums, there is undoubtedly discussion concerning how to watch the NFR events.
Everything You Need to Know About NFR
Beyond the payouts for the Cowboys, the PRCA estimates that the event brings in about $90 million annually to the Las Vegas economy. Furthermore, recent attendance stats have shown that 177,565 rodeo enthusiasts decked out in Wrangler jeans, Justin boots and cowboy hats attended events at the Thomas & Mack with an additional 40,000 fans who watched at the 40 hotels who hosted watch parties. It is during this rare time of the year that many marquees on the Strip have the face of bull riders replace DJs’ faces.
Seven main events have historically taken place at the NFR. Each event has its own monetary prizes that are paid out, and those payouts are determined by each top-placing competitor’s rank in relation to the event’s overall prize pool. Individuals placed in the top-six of a particular event are paid out accordingly, while individuals placed in the top-eight of the overall NFR are also paid out. The NFR’s main events are as follows:
This consists of a horseback cowboy using a bareback rigging as the primary means of staying on top of the horse. This grip has often been compared to the equivalent of hanging on to a suitcase handle and makes for the only support that a cowboy has on top of the wildly bucking horse. An 8-second ride constitutes a qualified ride and the cowboys is judged on riding technique.
This act involves a horseback steer wrestler, alternatively known as a “bulldogger”, bringing a fast-moving steer to a halt on its back as fast as possible. The bulldogger utilizes a combination of strength, technique, speed, and precision to jump off of their horse from a designated starting point and onto a steer sprinting off from the same starting point.
One of two horseback team members whose job is to successfully rope the head of the steer in one of three tries as fast as possible; around both horns, around one horn and the head, or around the neck.
One of two horseback team members whose job is to successfully rope the hind legs of the steer as soon as the header has successfully done their part. To avoid a 5-second penalty for roping only one hind leg, the heeler must rope both hind legs.
Saddle Bron Riding
Similar to Bareback Riding, the goal of the horseback cowboy is to maintain their balance as much as possible for 8 seconds while the horse is bucking. In this event, however, the cowboy sits on a saddle while using one hand to hold on to a thick rein that’s attached to the horse’s halter.
This event centers around a cowboy on horseback attempting to restrain a calf by throwing a well-timed rope loop that’s attached to the cowboy’s horse. The cowboy and the calf both leave from a designated starting point, with the calf getting a slight head-start. The cowboy depends on the horse to mitigate any slack in the rope after dismounting, then proceeds to tie-up the calf as fast as possible.
This is a women’s event where horseback cowgirls race against the clock to complete a strategically set course where barrels are set up as landmarks. The intent is for the cowgirls to complete a cloverleaf-shaped run around 3 barrels placed in a triangular formation as fast as possible. Barrels that are accidentally knocked over result in 5-second penalties.
The cowboy on top of the bull has the main objective of staying on top and maintaining their balance for 8 seconds. They are judged based on technique and can earn extra points by spurring while the bull is bucking. The cowboy stays on top of the bull by grasping a flat braided rope, which also wraps around the bull’s chest.
Being crowned the All-Around Champion speaks volumes about the versatility and high level of talent exhibited by the winning cowboy. In order to receive this honor, the cowboy must have won the most prize money in a given year and competed in at least 2 NFR events while earning at least $3,000 in each of those events. This is widely known as the highest honor bestowed by the PRCA.
There are 120 cowboys from all over the United States that will step foot as competitors within the NFR. A full list of the contestants can be found on the event’s Contestant Roster page. The top 10 ranked competitors are as follows:
Super Bowl of Rodeo
The NFR has consistently been referred to with this phrase because of the sheer massiveness of its popularity and money-generating power within the context of rodeo. The event is considered to be so big and consistently sold-out that the UNLV basketball team that normally uses the NFR’s venue during the season has to annually build its schedule in a way that keeps the team on the road for the duration of the NFR festivities.
Miss Rodeo America
This event is a pageant that takes place in conjunction with the NFR as part of the NFR’s overall festivities. State rodeo queen winners from across the United States compete for the Miss Rodeo America crown and put themselves in line to potentially win $20,000, among other smaller prizes. In addition to the prizes, the winner is expected to travel to various rodeos throughout the United States and to promote the rodeo during the subsequent year.
For those that need a break from the constant adrenaline that comes with the NFR’s main events, the Cowboy Christmas experience allows for a welcomed change of pace. This portion of NFR centers around cowboy shopping and serves as a marketplace for hundreds of exhibitors from the United States and Canada to sell to thousands of eager buyers. Typically taking place at the Las Vegas Convention Center, shoppers can find anything such as customized jewelry, western wear, boots and spurs, furniture, original art, handmade crafts and pottery, etc.
The 2018 PRCA season has been extremely competitive as a lot of the top cowboys are gunning for glory. Tuf Cooper sits atop of the all-around standings and many experts believe that he is going to win his second all-around title in a row. There will be a lot of close competitions and many of the world championships could come down to the last day. You can check the current standings here.
NFR Prize Money
The total payout for the entire event is $10 million and will remain at that amount until 2019. After that, the amount will be adjusted and remain in place for the subsequent five years. All 120 qualifying contestants receive $10,000 as part of participating. This year’s detailed payout structure can be found on the PRCA’s 2018 Wrangler NFR Payoff page.
All in all, the National Finals Rodeo is a landmark event and a de facto defining period of time within any given rodeo year. For anyone who is a fan of rodeo, the main events and the surrounding festivities are must-see events and must-participate experiences if the financial means allow for it. Don’t miss a minute of the exhilarating action this year from December 6th until December 15th.