First 2 PBA Telecasts on FOX, FS1 Generate Solid Numbers

by Bob Johnson 0

PBA ratings on FOX continue to impress.
Marshall Kent (with Mike J. Laneside) took home the winner-take-all $25K check as the PBA's debut on FOX attracted the largest viewing audience for a PBA telecast since 2005. Ratings for Sunday's PBA Hall of Fame Classic show also did not disappoint.

The PBA’s debut telecast on FOX reached an average audience of 1,768,000 viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research figures. The audience watching the PBA Clash telecast was the largest to watch any bowling telecast on any network since 2005.

While nobody expected those types of numbers for the PBA’s debut on FS1 this past Sunday for the stepladder finals of the PBA Hall of Fame Classic, that telecast nonetheless delivered solid viewership.

While an apples-to-apples comparison is impossible because ratings will always vary from event to event (standard vs. major tournament, for example) and time slot to time slot, the PBA was able to generate nearly as many viewers as it did for its Jan. 7, 2018 telecast on ESPN.

That telecast drew 501,000 viewers. Sunday’s telecast on FS1, according to statistics provided by FOX Sports, attracted 220,000 viewers when it aired live, 112,000 viewers on its first re-air, and 125,000 viewers on its second re-air — a total of 457,000.

Total viewership numbers for that telecast will not be known until all eight additional re-airs are in the books.

Other stats of note:

* Through two telecasts across FOX and FS1, the PBA is averaging 881,000 viewers for first-run telecasts, up 60% over the average of PBA first-run telecasts on ESPN in 2018 (551,000).

* Additionally, through two events, 4,875,000 viewers have tuned in to watch the PBA on FOX, FS1 or FS2 (including repeats), up 73% over ESPN’s reach through two events last year (2,818,000).

Meanwhile, Strike Ten Entertainment is further investing in its Go Bowling! sponsorship of the PBA Tour by introducing a promotion that could help to bolster ratings.

A new “Go Bowling Free America” promotion will reward PBA fans, league and casual bowlers across America with a free game of bowling at any participating STE bowling center if a PBA player rolls a 300 game during a FOX or FS1 telecast of any Go Bowling! PBA Tour final in 2019.

To obtain the free game of bowling coupon in the event of a perfect game on TV, fans must pre-register to receive the coupon by email (visit: www.gobowling.com/BowlFreeAmerica).

In addition to the free-game coupon promotion, all participating STE-member centers across America received complimentary posters promoting the 2019 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule. A list of participating STE centers can be found through the GoBowling.com search engine.

The promotions are being conducted in concert with the FOX Sports-PBA #Chasing300 rallying theme for the new season.

During the 2019 season, the bowling family will see a variety of marketing initiatives emerge under the umbrella of #Chasing300, including a $1 million bonus prize being offered to any player bowling a 300 game in the championship match of one of the following 2019 PBA-on-FOX events: the PBA Tournament of Champions, PBA Players Championship, PBA Indianapolis Open and WSOB PBA World Championship.

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.

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