With the sports world virtually shut down by the coronavirus, bull riding will take center stage this weekend.
TV programming will be devoid of the previously scheduled NBA, college basketball, MLS, NHL and XFL, with the events and telecasts having been canceled because of the spread of COVID-19. But there will cowboys climbing onto the backs of 1,800-pound bulls, and a chance to watch it live.
The Professional Bull Riders (PBR) will compete at the Infinite Energy Center in Duluth, Ga. without spectators but with TV camera crews. The CBS Sports Network, a cable TV channel, will televise the event live Saturday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET and Sunday from 12 to 2:30 p.m.
“We are so proud of our partnership with CBS,” PBR CEO Sean Gleason said in a statement. “They’ve been a great a nimble partner in bringing more PBR action to fans this weekend.”
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Daylon Swearingen rides Chuck & Larry during the 2020 Professional Bull Riders Monster Energy Buck Off at the Garden at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 5. (Photo: Cindy Ord, Getty Images)
Earlier in the week, the PBR announced the event would not be open to fans as “a result of decisions made by local authorities.’’ Most sports events, if not canceled, are being held in front of a limited number of people.
“I’ve been riding bulls since I was 16, and have never competed in an empty arena or been a part of anything like this,” Ezekiel Mitchell, a bull rider who ranks No. 22 in the world, said through the PBR. “I appreciate PBR taking the right precautions to help keep us safe during this health crisis.”
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