CHICAGO (Oct. 18, 2016) – The Professional Bowlers Association returns to ESPN for the 37th consecutive year, beginning on Sunday, Dec. 11, with live coverage of the PBA World Championship from the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev. – the first of nine live telecasts and the first of four major championships on the new schedule.
The ESPN schedule includes a total of 19 telecasts – two more than aired on last year’s schedule – and the most live shows to air since the 2008-09 season.
“We’re proud of our nearly 40-year relationship with the PBA,” said ESPN Senior Vice President-Programming and Global X Scott Guglielmino. “With premier championships and unique events like the annual Chris Paul PBA Invitational, bowling fans can look forward to another season of compelling and action-packed competition on the lanes.”
The new ESPN schedule begins with six telecasts from the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VIII at Reno’s National Bowling Stadium. The live PBA World Championship at 1 p.m. Eastern (10 a.m. Pacific) on Sunday, Dec. 11, will be followed by the finals of the PBA Cheetah (Dec. 18) and the Chameleon, Scorpion and Shark Championships (on Christmas Eve day and Christmas day), a re-air of the World Championship on New Year’s Day, and a special “USA vs. The World” team showdown on Jan. 8 featuring the top five American players vs. the top five international players based on WSOB qualifying. The Shark Championship will be the concluding event of the PBA’s 2016 season.
PBA’s “Big February” returns to ESPN with three consecutive majors: the Barbasol PBA Players Championship on Feb. 12, the FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions on Feb. 19 and the USBC Masters on Feb. 26. The USBC Masters will be part of a live doubleheader on Feb. 26. The Masters will be immediately followed by the World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals, presented by the PBA, marking the first time in PBA history that two separate events will air back-to-back as live telecasts.
Other highlights of the new ESPN schedule include:
- The annual Chris Paul Family Foundation PBA Celebrity Invitational is set to air in a new prime-time time slot on Friday, Feb. 17, at 9 p.m. Eastern.
- The Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship finals will air live from Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine, on April 16, leading into four consecutive Sundays of PBA League telecasts that will follow.
- New to ESPN will be the PBA Main Event, a live special telecast on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 5) from Katy, Texas, just outside Houston (the site of Super Bowl 51), and live telecasts of the semifinal and final rounds of the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort PBA Oklahoma Open on Saturday and Sunday, July 1 and 2. Details on both of these events will be announced soon.
In addition to PBA’s coverage on ESPN, qualifying and match play rounds of all PBA Tour events will be covered live, exclusively on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. Xtra Frame coverage also will include start-to-finish coverage of January’s DHC PBA Japan Invitational from Osaka, Japan, and a schedule of to-be-announced PBA Xtra Frame Tour events.
PBA ESPN TELEVISION SCHEDULE
(all times Eastern; subject to change)
Sunday, Dec. 11 – PBA World Championship, 1 p.m. (major, live)
Sunday, Dec. 18 – PBA Cheetah Championship presented by PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game, 1 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 24 – PBA Chameleon Championship presented by HotelPlanner.com, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 25 – PBA Scorpion Championship presented by Reno Tahoe USA, 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 25 – PBA Shark Championship, 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 1 – PBA World Championship re-air, 4 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 8 – USA vs. The World, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 5 – PBA Main Event (live), 2 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 12 – Barbasol PBA Players Championship, 1 p.m. (major, live)
Friday, Feb. 17 – Chris Paul Family Foundation PBA Celebrity Invitational, 9 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 19 – FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions, 1 p.m. (major, live)
Sunday, Feb. 26 – USBC Masters, 1 p.m. (major, live)
Sunday, Feb. 26 – World Bowling Tour finals, 3 p.m. (live)
Sunday, April 16 – Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship, 1 p.m. (live)
Sunday, April 23 – PBA League quarterfinals #1, 1 p.m.
Sunday, April 30 – PBA League quarterfinals #2, 1 p.m.
Sunday, May 7 – PBA League semifinals, 1 p.m.
Sunday, May 14 – PBA League Elias Cup finals, 1 p.m.
Saturday, July 1 – Grand Casino Hotel & Resort PBA Oklahoma Open semifinals (live)
Sunday, July 2 – Grand Casino Hotel & Resort PBA Oklahoma Open finals (live)
The October issue of Bowlers Journal is out now and includes an in-depth look at how Jesper Svensson sharpened his game to embark on his record-setting winning streak on the PBA Tour, the last-ever edition of our 100 Top Coaches list, reaction to the suspension of four Junior Team USA players in August, a comprehensive discussion by Gold coach and author, Michelle Mullen, on how to strike a balance between power and repetition, and much more. To subscribe now, please go here: https://www.bowlersjournal.com/subscribe/.