As the 2014 PBA Tour season enters the homestretch, the PBA Cheetah Championship presented by PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game begins nearly five months of ESPN television coverage on Dec. 14 at 1 p.m. ET. The winter return of PBA coverage to ESPN will wrap up a year that saw PBA fans discover unprecedented access to the PBA through the expanded PBA Network, reaching around the world with its multi-faceted media exposure.
On Dec. 14, PBA’s ESPN broadcast team will again feature Mike Jakubowski as play-by-play announcer, PBA Hall of Famer Randy Pedersen entering his 14th season as color analyst and Miss USA 1999 Kimberly Pressler in her fifth season as sideline reporter.
“After 14 years as color analyst, I’ve seen quite a bit,” said Pedersen, who will surpass the late Hall of Famer Billy Welu for the second most seasons as PBA color analyst. “There has never been a dull moment giving fans the inside information on the world’s greatest players competing in an ever changing sport.”
ESPN will televise four one-hour “animal pattern” championship events from GEICO World Series of Bowling, giving fans a first look at the brand new state of the art South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas. WSOB coverage begins with the PBA Cheetah Championship which will be followed on consecutive Sundays by the Viper Championship, Chameleon Championship, Scorpion Championship and the final PBA Tour event of the 2014 season – the PBA World Championship – which will be televised live from the Plaza at 1 p.m. ET Jan. 11.
“It feels good to be back in the broadcast booth for ESPN and Xtra Frame and to give our fans unprecedented coverage of the PBA Tour,” said Jakubowski, who also spends hundreds of hours providing PBA fans with exclusive coverage on Xtra Frame, PBA’s online bowling channel. “Now, there’s hardly a place a bowling fan can turn without getting the latest PBA coverage.”
Pressler, who had worked a variety of sports prior to joining the PBA team, has found her experiences working with the bowling community highly rewarding.
"The thing that intrigues me most during my time covering the PBA is the genuine passion and love of bowling from fans not just in the U.S. but from around the world,” she said. “They truly are the heart of this sport and I'm honored to be back as part of the ESPN broadcast crew to showcase this beloved pastime."
Additional World Series events will return to the schedule on Jan. 18 with the PBA Challenge presented by the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame at 3 p.m. ET and the World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals presented by the PBA on Jan. 25 at 1 p.m. ET. Both will be two-hour telecasts.
Through the newly introduced PBA Network, fans will have access to the PBA through a wide variety of outlets, including wall-to-wall coverage of an expanded schedule of live events on Xtra Frame, player interactions through Facebook and Twitter, mobile gaming, original programming, archived events and immediate news updates 24-7 on varying communications devices anywhere in the world.
For a sneak peek at the new opening to the PBA’s ESPN telecasts, click on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X22It6b4UMU
PBA.com, the official website of the PBA, will be the home base for the PBA Network (http://www.pba.com/PBANetwork/), linking fans to all of its media touch points. Xtra Frame, the PBA’s streaming video service, is the lynchpin of the PBA Network with a yearly subscription fee of $64.99 ($5.41 a month) or monthly subscription rate of $7.99, available at xtraframe.tv/pba/.
Fans can follow the PBA broadcast team on Twitter, @mikejlaneside, @stone8RP and @MissPressler.
2014-15 ESPN-PBA TELEVISION SCHEDULE
(All times are Eastern)
Sunday, Dec. 14 – GEICO WSOB VI PBA Cheetah Championship, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 21 – GEICO WSOB VI PBA Viper Championship, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 28 – GEICO WSOB VI PBA Chameleon Championship, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 4 – GEICO WSOB VI PBA Scorpion Championship, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 11 – GEICO WSOB VI PBA World Championship, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 18 – GEICO WSOB VI PBA Challenge (PBA50 Tour Finals, PBA Women’s Regional Finals, PBA Regional Finals, Teen Masters Grand Championship), 3 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 25 (ESPN2) –GEICO WSOB VI World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals presented by PBA, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 1 – Chris Paul PBA Celebrity Invitational, 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 8 – United States Bowling Congress Masters, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 15 – 50th anniversary Barbasol PBA Tournament of Championships, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 22 – PBA Players Championship, 1 p.m.
Sunday, March 1 – Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship, 1 p.m.
Sunday, March 29 – PBA League Quarterfinals, 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 5 – PBA League Quarterfinals, 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 12 – PBA League Semifinals, 2 p.m.
Sunday, April 19 – PBA League Elias Cup Finals, 1 p.m.