The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) recently struck a new deal with the self proclaimed “Worldwide Leader in Sports”, ESPN, in a blockbuster television agreement that will allow the channel to televise 16 tournaments through the 2012-13 season. This marks the 33rd consecutive season of PBA coverage.
*2012 PBA World Series of Bowling Preview*
As part of the new deal, ESPN will air 11 of its PBA telecasts from 90 minutes to two hours. ESPN will also provide live coverage of two major championships as well as the first round of all-new team competition. ESPN Senior Director of Programming and Acquisitions, Jason Bernstein said in a statement,
“We continue to work with our partners at the PBA to develop new ways of enhancing the bowling product,” says Bernstein “The addition of 30 minutes of action to most of our Sunday shows this season is a great way to serve loyal fans of the sport.”
In addition to covering Round 1 of the Japan Cup from Tokyo, the Chris Paul PBA League All Stars event, as well as five new PBA League telecasts, ESPN will broadcast this year’s PBA World Series of Bowling. The fourth annual 10-day, 5-title round robin tournament format will consist of three eight-game rounds, with the top advancing to the ESPN finals. According to the PBA, the combined prize fund for the five Tour events is expected to exceed $600,000.
The format for the WSOB will be the same as last year. The Cheetah, Viper, Chameleon and Scorpion Championships require each competitor to bowl an eight-game qualifying round in each event. The top 16 will advance to an additional same-day six game round. The top four will then compete in a stepladder, ESPN TV finals for each event.
Each animal pattern event will pay 36 places with $18,000 for 1st place down to $750 for 36th place. The World Championships will pay 54 places with $50,000 for first down to $1,300 for 54th.
Ildemaro Ruiz of Venezuela and Tommy Jones of the United States battle for the last spot in the ESPN finals of the 2011 PBA WSOB Bayer Viper Open
Along with ESPN, PBA continued their relationship with the South Point Hotel, Casino and Bowling Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. This will mark the third consecutive year the event will be held at the 64-lane, state-of-the-art center. There is no admission charge to watch the event.
For a schedule of events click here.
***As tribute to former PBA Tour Champion Tony Reyes, who was killed recently in a traffic incident, fellow Tour players will wear a black-and-silver “TR” emblem during their respective competitions throughout the year. This is homage to the Oakland Raiders, Reyes favorite NFL football team. The “TR” patches will be available at PBA tournament sites and through the PBA office for $5 each.***