The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is the top yearly prorodeo event of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), the world’s largest rodeo organization. Despite being one of the most exciting sporting events, it isn’t necessarily one you will find in cable or streaming packages. Unless you have Sling TV, of course. Read on to get all the details.
In a hurry? The 65th annual National Finals Rodeo will air live on The Cowboy Channel and RFD-TV. These are both included in the Heartland Extra add-on for just $6/mo on top of the base Sling Orange or Blue plans for $40.00/mo. Save 50% on Sling TV now!
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National Finals Rodeo Overview
The National Finals Rodeo (NFR) is the Super Bowl of rodeo. But maybe it is better to think of it is as the NASCAR playoffs since it showcases individual competitors and awards based on the PRCA World Standings.
But even this under-sells the complexity of the NFR. It features 7 of the standard 8 rodeo events in professional rodeo (steer roping is the exception). At the end, the highest money winner in two or more events is awarded the title of All-Around Cowboy World Champion and the coveted Gold Buckle.
The live event is held each year just outside Las Vegas, NV. Last year, it was at the South Point Arena & Equestrian Center, but this year it’s back at the Thomas & Mack Center at the UNLV in Paradise, Nevada. It occurs nightly over the course of 10 days.
Roughstock events are judged the way that figure skating is. The cowboy must ride for at least 8 seconds. Two judges score both the rider and the animal. There are three events:
- Bareback riding: horse without saddle
- Bull riding: bull without saddle
- Saddle bronc riding: horse with western saddle.
If roughstock is like figure skating, timed events are like speed skating. It’s just about getting the job done in the shortest amount of time. There are four events:
- Barrel racing: Rider and horse race around two barrels — this is a cowgirl-only event at the professional level.
- Steer wrestling: The rider jumps from a horse and wrestles a steer to the ground by its horns.
- Team roping: Two riders rope a steer, one by the head (the “header”) and the other by the feet (the “heeler”) — this is the only team event.
- Tie-down roping: Mounted rider ropes a calf, tackles it, and ties up three of its legs.
2023 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Schedule
The 2023 National Finals Rodeo is 10 days of events. In fact, it all starts before its official December 7th start with events like the contestant introductions for Miss Rodeo America on Sunday and the start of the PRCA National Convention on Monday.
There are other major events like the Pro Rodeo League of Women Style Show, Cowboy Christmas, and daily Official NFR Tailgate Party that will air on The Cowboy Channel.
But the main attraction each night will be featured on The Cowboy Channel and RFD-TV. Coverage is 2 hours and 45 minutes each night.
|Thu Dec 7||Pendleton Whisky Night|
|Fri Dec 8||Coors Night|
|Sat Dec 9||Hesston By Massey Ferguson Night|
|Sun Dec 10||Polaris Off-Road Vehicles Night|
|Mon Dec 11||Tough Enough To Wear Pink Night|
|Tue Dec 12||Resistol Rookie Night|
|Wed Dec 13||Military Night|
|Thu Dec 14||Durango Boots Night|
|Fri Dec 15||Ram Rodeo Night|
|Sat Dec 16||Wrangler National Patriot Night|
Channels to Watch the NFR Live Stream
You can get the NFR Streaming Pass to watch the National Finals Rodeo, but it’s very expensive for a single-source streaming service. You can also get Cowboy Channel Plus, but its 2023 “Everything We Got” Package (including all 10 days of the NFR) is $119.99! So these are really only the best options for the most intense rodeo fan.
Most viewers will be best served by the coverage on The Cowboy Channel and RFD-TV. They are sister channels owned by Rural Media Group that cover a lot of the same events. RFD-TV is more focused on the western lifestyle, whereas TCC covers more western sports.
RFD-TV will air coverage nightly from through . The Cowboy Channel will feature coverage at that time, as well as lots of other coverage throughout the day and on the weekends.
Streaming the NFR 2022 With Sling TV
Sling TV is the most customizable live TV streaming service in the industry. It starts with a basic plan and allows you to customize it from there.
Sling Blue offers a collection of 40+ channels including Fox and NBC. Sling Orange offers 30+ channels including ESPN and Disney. Either of these plans cost $40.00/mo or you can get them together for $55.00/mo.
To get The Cowboy Channel and RFD-TV with the Heartland Extra add-on for just $6/mo more. In addition to these channels, you get: American Heroes Channel, Destination America, Great American Family, Great American Living, INSP, Outdoor Channel, PixL, Pursuit, Sportsman Channel, and World Fishing Network.
If you get the Blue plan, you also get NatGeo Wild.
Why Sling TV?
The primary reason to get Sling TV is that it has the channels you need. None of FuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, and YouTube TV offers either The Cowboy Channel or RFD-TV. And DIRECTV STREAM offers RFD-TV (but not The Cowboy Channel) and it costs 50% more! Only Vidgo and Sling still offer Newsmax, and Sling has it cheaper.
Devices to Live Stream the NFR on Sling TV
- Amazon Fire TV (Firestick)
- Android mobile devices
- Android TV
- Apple TV
- iOS (iPhone, iPad)
- LG TVs
- Samsung TVs
- Vizio TVs
- Web browsers
You won’t want to miss any of the National Finals Rodeo. And with Sling TV, you don’t need to spend much money do it. Signing up is a cinch — subscribe now!
Why isn’t steer roping held at the NFR?
The National Finals Rodeo is held each year in Las Vegas, Nevada. But Nevada has outlawed steer roping. It isn’t alone. Most states ban it. The event involves roping a steer from horseback and yanking it to stun the animal for long enough for the cowboy to dismount. Many in the rodeo world dislike the event, which leads to many injuries and even deaths.
*The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.
Page Updates ▼▲
Updated for 2023
Added new section. Added links to streaming services. Mentioned channel info. Reworked one section. Updated some sections. Added a few links.
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