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.
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)