ESPN and the Professional Bowlers Association Sign Five-Year Deal
ESPN announced that it will expand its relationship with the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) under a new five-year deal that will see the network's previous coverage of the PBA Tour and the PBA League grow from 25.2 hours per year to 36. The deal becomes effective with the 2013 World Series of Bowling, which will debut on ESPN on Sunday, December 1, 2013. The new deal follows a successful inaugural season of the PBA League, which features eight celebrity team owners, including stars Chris Paul, Kevin Hart, Terrell Owens and Billie Jean King. The second season of The PBA League will debut on ESPN on Sunday January 5, 2014.
The deal ensures that the PBA will remain on ESPN and marks the continuation of a partnership that dates back to 1979.
"We are thrilled to continue our long-standing relationship with the PBA, which dates back to 1979, ESPN's inaugural year. Bowling makes for compelling television, and with last year's addition of the PBA League, it has the potential for appealing to a broader audience," said Jason Bernstein, ESPN Senior Director, Programming.
Chris Paul, one of the league's founding owners, said, "I'm excited to be part of the PBA League's second season and back on ESPN. When the League starts in January, I'm confident my guys will come out strong this year."
"ESPN's renewed and expanded commitment will help us grow our sport and build on the successful launch of the PBA League. I'm thrilled that our fans will continue to see the world's greatest bowlers on ESPN for many years," said PBA CEO Geoff Reiss.
Len DeLuca of Len DeLuca & Associates was the media advisor to the PBA for this agreement.
PBA League Teams and Celebrity Owners
· L.A. X Chris Paul
· Philadelphia Hitmen Kevin Hart
· New York City WTT Kingpins Billie Jean King
· Silver Lake Atom Splitters Chris Hardwick
· Dallas Strikers Terrell Owens
· BROOKLYN STyLES Jesse Williams
· Detroit Motown Muscle Jerome Bettis
· Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits LaMarr Woodley
About the PBA
The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) is an organization of more than 3,200 of the best bowlers from 17 countries who compete in PBA Tour, PBA International Tour, PBA Regional and PBA50 Tour events. Nearly one million ESPN viewers watch PBA Tour on Sundays during the tour season and thousands around the world watch PBA activities on Xtra Frame, the PBA's exclusive video streaming service. PBA sponsors include Brunswick, Ebonite International, GEICO, Jack Link's, MOTIV, Storm Products and the United States Bowling Congress, among others. For more information, visit http://www.pba.com.
ESPN, Inc., is the world's leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of more than 50 multimedia sports assets. The company is comprised of seven U.S. 24-hour television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes and Longhorn Network) and five HD simulcast services (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS and ESPN Deportes). Other businesses include ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (35 networks, syndication, radio, digital), ESPN Radio (broadcast, satellite, digital, a growing category led by ScoreCenter), ESPN.com (plus a variety of sport-, college-, and market-specific sites), ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Enterprises and espnW. Multi-screen offerings include WatchESPN (access to several ESPN networks online and via an app), ESPN3 (live multi-screen network available online, on the go and via Xbox LIVE) and ESPN Mobile (mobile Web, mobile TV and video, apps, alerts and messaging). Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.