Can You Watch The Nfr Live On YouTube

The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) is the season-ending championship event for professional rodeo competitors in North America. Known as the “Super Bowl of Rodeo,” the NFR features the top 15 competitors in each major event like bull riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing, and bareback riding.

The NFR is a 10-day event held annually in December at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The top rodeo athletes compete for world champion titles and a share of over $10 million in prize money. With sold-out crowds and non-stop action, the NFR delivers thrilling entertainment for fans.

Can You Watch the NFR Live on YouTube?

Many rodeo fans wonder if they can watch the NFR live streamed on YouTube. Unfortunately, YouTube does not have broadcasting rights for the NFR. While you may find short highlight clips on YouTube after events, you cannot live stream the full 10 days of competition on the platform.

The exclusive broadcasting rights belong to The Cowboy Channel. The network provides the only live telecast of all 10 days of the NFR to domestic viewers. So to watch the NFR as it happens, you need access to The Cowboy Channel.

How to Access The Cowboy Channel

Here are some options for gaining access to The Cowboy Channel so you can watch the NFR live:

  • Subscribe through your cable or satellite provider – The Cowboy Channel may be included in certain channel packages. Check with your provider.
  • Use a live TV streaming service – Services like Philo, Frndly TV, and Sling TV carry The Cowboy Channel on certain tiers.
  • Get a digital antenna – In some areas, The Cowboy Channel is available over-the-air with a digital antenna. Check local listings.
  • Subscribe direct through The Cowboy Channel – You can get a subscription for online/app access on Roku, Apple TV, etc.

Other Official NFR Live Streaming Options

In addition to The Cowboy Channel, the ProRodeoTV streaming service also has rights to air the NFR live in 2022. PRCA on Cowboy Channel+, a paid subscription add-on, will offer live and on-demand NFR content.

Various sportsbooks and casinos in Las Vegas will also live stream the event. But access requires being physically present on location.

Alternative Ways to Follow the NFR Action

Since you cannot directly live stream the NFR on YouTube, here are some alternative ways to follow along with the rodeo action:

NFR Highlight Clips

The ProRodeo Sports News channel on YouTube will provide highlight reels and interviews. This lets viewers see top rides and runs shortly after they happen.

NFR on Social Media

The official NFR accounts on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok will post clips, photos, results, and updates in real time. Rodeo competitors will also share content.

Radio Broadcasts

Listen to live NFR radio commentary on SiriusXM Rural Radio channel 147. They offer play-by-play coverage for subscribers.

News and Analysis

Websites like Rodeo News and The Cowboy Channel will have articles, analysis, commentary, and interviews recapping the action.

While you cannot directly live stream the full event on YouTube, these alternative options let you follow key moments and stay up-to-date on this premier rodeo competition.

Why the NFR Isn’t Available on YouTube

There are a few reasons why the Wrangler NFR has not been made available to broadcast live on platforms like YouTube:

Exclusive Broadcasting Agreements

As a premier rodeo event, the NFR has lucrative contracts with broadcast partners. The Cowboy Channel has exclusive domestic rights through 2025. This restricts live streams to certain providers.

Generating Revenue

NFR organizers work with specific networks to generate revenue through subscriptions, advertising, and partnerships. YouTube’s free global platform does not fit their current business model.

Concerns Over Content Rights

Live streaming on YouTube comes with risks of content piracy, illegal uploads, and unauthorized distribution. Avoiding YouTube reduces these concerns for valuable NFR content.

Limited Live Sports on YouTube

While YouTube does stream some live content, the platform has not been a major destination for streaming full live sports compared to other major events and leagues.

Future Possibility of NFR on YouTube

There is a chance that the NFR may eventually be available to stream live on platforms like YouTube in the future. Some factors that may allow this:

  • Changes in broadcasting rights and deals as contracts expire with current network partners.
  • Shifting consumer viewing preferences continuing to move toward internet streaming.
  • YouTube enhancing their live sports streaming capabilities and protections.
  • Rodeo organizations being willing to embrace new media partners and platforms.

However, near term the NFR will likely remain restricted from YouTube, especially through their contract with The Cowboy Channel lasting through 2025. After that, live streaming options could potentially expand.

Other Major Rodeos Streamed on YouTube

While you can’t stream the NFR live on YouTube currently, here are some other top rodeos that do get live streamed on the platform:

  • Calgary Stampede
  • Professional Bull Riders Events
  • Cheyenne Frontier Days
  • Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo
  • St. Paul Rodeo
  • RFD-TV’s The American

Rodeo fans can enjoy live action from these events on YouTube. However, the exclusive NFR broadcast rights remain with Cowboy Channel. This limits access to full live coverage of pro rodeo’s championships for now.

Check Official Listings for NFR Live Stream Options

Rodeo enthusiasts who want to watch the NFR live need to check official listings for available streaming and broadcast partners. While YouTube does not carry the event live currently, other streaming services and TV providers have access. Make sure to confirm which platforms carry The Cowboy Channel so you don’t miss out on any of the action.


Can I watch the NFR on YouTube TV?

Unfortunately, no. YouTube TV currently doesn’t carry The Cowboy Channel or RFD-TV, which are the primary broadcasters of the NFR. You’ll need to explore other options to watch the live event.

How can I watch the NFR live?

Here are your options for watching the NFR live:

  • Cable/Satellite Providers: The NFR airs live on The Cowboy Channel and RFD-TV. Check your cable or satellite provider’s channel lineup to see if they carry these channels.

  • Online Streaming:

    • NFR Coverage Platform: You can purchase a subscription to the NFR Coverage platform, which offers live and on-demand coverage of all rounds of the NFR.
    • Cowboy Channel Plus: This online streaming service from The Cowboy Channel offers live and on-demand coverage of the NFR, along with other rodeo events.
    • FuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV with add-ons: Some live TV streaming services offer The Cowboy Channel or RFD-TV as add-on channels. Check their websites for current pricing and availability.

Do you have to pay to watch NFR?

Yes, in most cases. Here’s a breakdown of costs:

  • Cable/Satellite Providers: You’ll need to have a cable or satellite TV package that includes The Cowboy Channel or RFD-TV. Costs vary depending on your provider and chosen package.

  • Online Streaming:

    • NFR Coverage Platform: Requires a subscription, typically around $75 for the entire NFR event.
    • Cowboy Channel Plus: Requires a monthly subscription, starting at $9.99.
    • FuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV with add-ons: These services typically cost around $70-$80 per month, plus the additional cost of the Cowboy Channel or RFD-TV add-on.

What channels have NFR?

  • The Cowboy Channel: Channel numbers will vary depending on your cable or satellite provider. You can use their channel finder tool to find your specific channel number.
  • RFD-TV: Similar to The Cowboy Channel, check your provider’s channel finder for your specific RFD-TV channel number.


The Wrangler NFR is the pinnacle event in professional rodeo that fans worldwide eagerly look forward to watching live every December. However, due to broadcasting rights deals, the NFR cannot be live streamed on YouTube at this time. The exclusive partner for domestic streaming is The Cowboy Channel. Rodeo supporters will need access to this network through their TV provider, a streaming service, or direct subscription in order to view the full NFR live online.

While you can find highlights and updates from the event on YouTube, the only way to watch all 10 days of competition from start to finish is by tuning in to authorized NFR streaming sources. With amazing athletes and exciting action, it’s worth the effort for rodeo fans to gain access to authorized broadcasters carrying this premier championship event.

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