This Saturday will be a momentous day for the sport of stand up paddling, though most of the top athletes won’t even get their feet wet. Instead, they’ll be crowded round the telly, tuning in for the world premiere of the Payette River Games on CBS Sports Network.
The Payette River Games, or PRGs, offer perhaps the single most entertaining spectacle in our sport, so I’m pretty damn excited to see how it looks on the small screen.
Those of us who follow the sport all know that PRG15 resulted in flawless victories for Mo Freitas and Rebecca Giddens, who conquered not only the river but a very elite field of all star paddlers.
The hardcore followers of our sport seemed to love every minute of it, while the athletes themselves were full of gratitude for an amazing event. It was very cool to watch it up close in Idaho, however none of us really know what to expect from the CBS Sports broadcast…
I can only assume the production will have been tailor made for a more mainstream sports fan, with the whole purpose of this broadcast being to push the sport to new frontiers, new audiences and new markets.
As quite possibly the most entertaining race in the world (apologies to Salt Creek), the PRGs have greater potential than any other event to captivate a more mainstream audience and help lift SUP racing out of its tiny niche. For that reason alone you should tune in, and tell everyone you know to check it out. The more viewers this thing gets, the more the entire stand up paddling ecosystem will benefit.
Now I have no idea how cable TV works in America, but you can use this handy channel finder to see if you’ve got access. If not, find someone that does. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be worth it. For the hardcore international fans, we’re going to have to wait and just hope there’s an online version in the next few weeks (as happened with the Showdown’s CBS Sports broadcast last year).
WHEN: Saturday July 11 @ 12 noon Eastern (10am Idaho, 9am California, 6am Hawaii)
WHERE: CBS Sports Network (use their channel finder to locate your local station)
WHAT: Hour-long broadcast of last month’s Payette River Games featuring plenty of the biggest names (and best carnage) in the sport
WHY: Because it’s one of the most entertaining races in the world (and coz Dave Kalama is on the mic!)
According to the official station guide it’ll first air at 12 noon Eastern Time, then it looks like there’ll be a repeat at 11pm.
If you want a preview of what’s in store, here are a couple of Payette River Games highlight reels. This first clip comes from Mo Freitas, the undisputed King of PRG15.
Then we’ve got Rogue’s edit, which is fairly epic as we’ve come to expect from those guys:
And on a side note, it’s cool to see some of the SUP brands not only supporting this great event, but taking it one step further and releasing full on TV commercials that’ll feature during the CBS Sports broadcast. Here’s what we’ve got from Werner Paddles, who were big supporters of PRG15 (and who pretty much pioneered white water stand up paddling). Who knows, maybe one day stand up paddling will have its own answer to the Super Bowl ads.
Anyway go put a reminder in your phone right now: The 2015 Payette River Games on CBS Sports Network. This Saturday (July 11) @ 12pm Eastern time (10am in Idaho, 9am in California, 6am in Hawaii). I’m pretty sure it’ll be worth it…