PBA Sees TV Ratings ‘Momentum’ Following Lubbock Sports Open Show

by Gianmarc Manzione 0

PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark reported today that the PBA Lubbock Sports Open show, which originally aired Sunday and has since seen multiple re-airs, attracted 345,000 viewers for the live broadcast and another 157,000 for that evening's rerun.

That means more than half a million viewers tuned in on Jan. 27 alone to watch one of the most remarkable finales to a PBA telecast in recent memory — 502,000, to be exact.

Those numbers beat by 316% the show FS1 ran in the same slot last year.

It will be interesting to see the extent to which additional re-airs, such as the one that ran last night at 6 p.m. on FS1, add to those numbers as the show's dramatic finish continues to generate buzz this week. (For more on that buzz, go here to read our interview with third-place finisher Kyle Troup posted today, find our opinion piece on why "luck" played less of a role than advertised in Allen's win here, and go here for the PBA's full recap of the show.)

Additionally, the Lubbock show's viewership exceeded that of the previous week's telecast, the Mark Roth-Marshall Holman Doubles Championship show on Jan. 20, by 28% and, Clark reported, was "83% higher than the week before that," which was the PBA Oklahoma Open show on Jan. 13.

Clark said those numbers demonstrate that the PBA is "Gaining momentum with our new broadcast partner FOX Sports. Fans are finding us."

While viewership dipped a bit for the PBA Oklahoma Open show, which generated a combined 300,000 viewers including re-airs compared to 457,000 viewers for the PBA Hall of Fame Classic between the original Jan. 6 broadcast and two subsequent reruns, data show that the momentum Clark alludes to began to build thereafter.

The 270,000 viewers the Mark Roth-Marshall Holman Doubles Championship TV finals delivered on FS1 made it the most-watched of the 2019 season's three PBA telecasts on the network to that point. Compared to last January’s 1-3 p.m. average on FS1, that show was up 82% (versus 148,000 viewers). This despite the fact that the doubles show had been taped a week earlier following the conclusion of the PBA Oklahoma Open. Then Sunday's Lubbock show exceeded even those numbers.

"For the year, through five original shows plus re-airs on FOX, FS1 and FS2, the PBA has had 6,921,000 viewers tuning in," Clark added, "up 26% over the first five shows last year on different networks."

In addition to the 10th anniversary CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational airing Feb. 3 at 2 p.m. ET on FOX, the PBA's immediate television horizon now includes two majors in February, when the Tournament of Champions kicks off on Feb. 4 at Riviera Lanes in Fairlawn, Ohio, and the PBA Players Championship gets underway Feb. 12 at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl in Columbus, Ohio. The TV finals of those events currently are scheduled to air live Feb. 10 on FOX at 4:30 p.m. ET and Feb. 17 on FS1 at 1 p.m. ET, respectively.


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