The pickleball fight will be broadcast on television.
The Pickleball Professionals Association (APP) has agreed to a television deal with CBS Sports and ESPN that will guarantee 12 hours of live drinking and driving and highlights on the CBS Sports Network, with an additional eight hours of recap coverage on ESPN2 . 200 hours or more live on ESPN+ and APP TV. No terms were released regarding the duration of the agreement or monetary value.
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“The app exists to promote the sport of pickleball nationally and internationally, and this media exposure is an important step in fulfilling that mission,” Tom Webb, the app’s chief marketing officer, said in a release. said in.
Formed in 2019 and officially sanctioned by USA Pickleball, the APP Tour plans to host 16 events and an international and collegiate series in 2023. Only the main tour will get coverage as part of the announced deal.
Entering 2022, the APP competes with the Professional Pickleball Association to sign top players. Then the third tour, the American Pickleball Major League, came out with a full team format, draft picks and celebrity owners, and it caused a lot of buzz. Eventually, the PPA and Major League Pickleball joined forces.
“The merger is massive and it allows top players to compete in both team and individual competitions,” said Kyle Whatnall, communications manager for Selkirk, a top equipment maker that sponsors players on both tours. “It has attracted a lot of top players to the PPA.”
Last year, the PPA-MLP pair aired one game on ABC, six games on Tennis and plans to expand cable coverage. Tennis Channel CEO Ken Solomon told CNBC: “We had a full year of coverage in 2022, and that will escalate significantly in 2023.”
How competing media arrangements will affect the rivalry between the two tracks remains to be seen, but both are banking on the idea that those who play the sport will also want to watch. Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States, with more than 35 million people expected to play it by 2022.
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