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Satellite Feed Helps Millions View Buffalo Roundup

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PIERRE, S.D. – The Old West returned to South Dakota on Oct. 2 during Custer State Park’s Annual Buffalo Roundup. Millions of viewers tuned in to see the images of wranglers on horseback and rangers in pickups herding the stampeding bison into corrals. The Office of Tourism broadcast the roundup live via satellite to media nationwide. The broadcast ran during more than 250 television broadcasts, reaching an audience of more than 15 million viewers. “The satellite feed allowed us to share the awesome spectacle of thundering bison and South Dakota’s beautiful scenery with America,” said Billie Jo Waara, director of the Office of Tourism. “Displaying South Dakota’s buffalo roundup and other incredible attractions is a great benefit to the state’s visitor industry, especially when we can reach this many people.” CNN, CNN Headline News, CBS, ABC, ESPN, WB and the Weather Channel were among the national media airing the roundup footage. Affiliate stations in Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Phoenix, St. Louis, San Antonio, and many other American cities also used the images. “Custer State Park and South Dakota were all over the morning, midday and evening news,” Waara said. “The feed focused national attention on South Dakota and enabled us to hit markets more extensively than our advertising budget allows. We reached millions of potential visitors who now may consider us as a destination for their next vacation.” The satellite feed aids in accomplishing the 2010 Initiative goal of doubling visitor spending to $1.2 billion by investing in promotions that focus on expanding the fall shoulder travel season. In addition to live footage of the roundup, the feed also included scenes from the Oct. 2 pre-roundup and interviews with Gov. Mike Rounds, Custer State Park Superintendent Richard Miller and Horseback Team Leader Bob Lantis.