July 12, 2021
ViacomCBS’s Pluto TV July 12 announced a new multifaceted partnership with Professional Bull Riders by transitioning the group’s SVOD service RidePass, to an ad-supported VOD business, beginning July 20.
Launched in 2018, RidePass will stream exclusively as both a linear channel and on-demand featuring hundreds of hours of live professional bull riding, rodeo, other western sporting events. Additionally, Pluto TV will market its service to PBR fans, becoming one of the sport’s largest partners.
With a growing audience of more than 50 million global users on Pluto TV, the RidePass channel will super-serve western sports fans by providing them with free streaming access to western sports content. Programming includes PBR’s Unleash The Beast and Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour, marquee rodeos including WCRA Triple Crown, Indian National Finals Rodeo, Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo, and National High School Rodeo Finals, premier horse and equestrian events, including “Road to the Horse,” highlight shows, and western sports shoulder programming.
The first rodeo to be carried live on Pluto TV is Days of 47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo July 20-24 from Utah Fair State Park with all five rounds of competition on the AVOD platform.
“This new relationship with Pluto TV allows PBR to super serve fans with hundreds of events and thousands of hours of great western sports programming now available for free,” Sean Gleason, CEO, PBR, said in a statement. “We will benefit from tremendous synergies to grow this first-of-its-kind sports network.”
This pact marks a first-of-its-kind deal for Pluto TV bringing education and brand awareness via in-event marketing and broadcast television promotion and activations as an official PBR partner.
As the streaming sector continues to expand, with more and more new entrants joining the space to provide a variety of offerings, the partnership aims to demonstrate a new paradigm for niche streaming services and broader platforms to work together, according to Tom Ryan, CEO ViacomCBS Streaming.
“This relationship provides Pluto TV a mutual vehicle to speak to, and engage with, brand-new audiences while collaboratively growing user bases,” Ryan said. “We are the perfect destination to entertain PBR’s vast and loyal fanbase … for the very first time.”
Pluto TV’s lineup of western-themed programming includes the Western TV channel, which streams series like “The Lone Ranger” and “Walker Texas Ranger” as well as a dedicated movie channel, Pluto TV Westerns, featuring films like True Grit, Geronimo: An American Legend, and The Alamo. Earlier this month, Pluto TV launched an exclusive dedicated channel to Steve McQueen’s Wanted: Dead or Alive.