Starting in December, the National Cutting Horse Association’s (NCHA) three highest-profile limited-age shows – the NCHA Futurity, NCHA Super Stakes and NCHA Summer Spectacular – will all be highlighted in national cable television network broadcasts less than one week after they end.
The NCHA and RFD-TV released a statement in late March announcing the cable network, which targets rural markets, will broadcast the 2013 NCHA Futurity. RFD-TV CEO Randy Bernard and NCHA Interim Executive Director/2012-2013 President Ernie Beutenmiller, Jr. revealed during a Saturday announcement in Fort Texas, Texas, the one-year deal actually covers all three Fort Worth shows. It begins with the 2013 NCHA Futurity, in November and December 2013, and continues with the 2014 NCHA Super Stakes in March and April, and the 2014 NCHA Summer Spectacular in July.
If all goes well, Bernard said it’s likely RFD-TV and the NCHA will end up working together for a much wider time frame than the existing one-year deal.
“We are not interested in dates. We are interested in marriages,” Bernard said. His goal is for RFD-TV viewers to watch the progression of cutting horses from 2-year-old and 3-year-old prospects to seasoned 5- and 6-year-old professionals.
Bernard also said they are negotiating on a possible 30-minute once-a-week cutting-themed show.
“I think this is great for the NCHA,” Beutenmiller said. “Having one conversation with Randy and his vision for RFD-TV, we [NCHA Executive Directors] knew it was a great fit for our organization. We’re looking forward to a long, positive relationship.”
RFD-TV reaches an estimated 33 million homes and an estimated 70 million viewers. The upcoming RFD-TV cutting broadcasts will be edited to make them tighter and more interesting to viewers, he added.
Broadcasts are expected to take place within seven days of each show’s completion. Live cutting broadcasts have been aired in the past, but live cutting events “aren’t made for television,” Bernard said.
The easy part ended for RFD-TV with its signing the NCHA deal, its top executive said.
“My grandpa said, ‘Any fool can get married. The hard part is staying married.’ Now, we’ve got to show them [NCHA members and RFD-TV viewers] success.”