PBA and FOX Sports Announce Multi-Year, Multi-Platform Deal; PBA Returns to Broadcast TV in 2019

Story from Bill Vint, PBA Media Relations. Link to original story on pba.com.

 

LOS ANGELES and CHICAGO – The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) and FOX Sports today announced a multi-year, multi-platform agreement making FOX Sports the new television partner for the Go Bowling! PBA Tour starting in 2019. The package will bring a substantial schedule of live PBA events to television, including prime time events and a new bracket-style, multi-week PBA Playoffs tournament that concludes with a unique PBA championship finale. The announcement was made by PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark and William Wanger, FOX Sports Executive VP of Programming, Live Operations and Research (see photo below).

“The PBA has been searching for the best possible broadcast partner to serve our fans, players and the bowling industry, and we have determined that partner is FOX Sports,” Clark said. “We are particularly excited that the PBA Tour returns to broadcast television, where it started 56 years ago, with shows on FOX next year.”

In 2019, FOX Sports will televise four PBA Tour shows on FOX and 25 on FS1 in a series of two-hour telecasts. All programs will also be streamed on FOX Sports GO. Details pertaining to the FOX Sports-PBA package regarding PBA Tour locations, dates and times, and the television announcing team will be released at a later date.

“FOX Sports is thrilled to add the highly rated PBA Tour to our extensive lineup, joining other sport partners including the NFL, the FIFA World Cup, MLB, NASCAR, MLS, UFC, NHRA, Supercross, USGA, college football and basketball, and others,” said Wanger. “We believe that adding a FOX Sports look and feel to bowling will help bring the sport to a whole new level.”

The PBA was represented in the transaction by Ed Desser of Desser Sports Media (www.desser.tv).

The agreement between FOX Sports and the PBA extends a non-stop television presence for professional bowling that began in 1962 with ABC Television’s 36 years of continuous coverage of the Pro Bowlers Tour and 38 consecutive years of coverage on ESPN, beginning with ESPN’s formation in 1979.

Both parties plan to supplement the broadcast and cable coverage of the PBA Tour’s premier events with live-streaming of preliminary rounds by PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel as well as extensive use of the FOX Sports and PBA Network outlets including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and their respective websites.

About FOX Sports

FOX Sports is the umbrella entity representing 21st Century FOX’s wide array of multi-platform US-based sports assets.  Built with brands capable of reaching more than 100 million viewers in a single weekend, FOX Sports includes ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple web sites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing partnerships.  FOX Sports includes the sports television arm of the FOX Broadcasting Company; FS1, FS2; FOX Sports Regional Networks, their affiliated regional web sites and national programming; FOX Soccer Plus; FOX Deportes and FOX College Sports.  In addition, FOX Sports also encompasses FOX Sports Digital, which includes FOXSports.com and FOX Sports GO.  Also included in the Group are FOX’s interests in joint-venture businesses Big Ten Network and BTN 2Go, as well as a licensing agreement that established the FOX Sports Radio Network.

About the PBA

In 2018 the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) celebrates its 60th anniversary. The PBA is an organization of more than 3,000 of the best bowlers from 27 countries who compete in Go Bowling! PBA Tour, PBA International Tour, PBA Regional Tour, PBA Women’s Regional and PBA50 Tour events. The 2018 season also marks the 59th consecutive year of nationally-televised competition, reaching bowling fans around the world who follow PBA activities through the PBA Network which includes Xtra Frame, the PBA’s exclusive online bowling channel, ESPN and CBS Sports Network, and the PBA on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. PBA sponsors include Barbasol, Brunswick, Ebonite International, GEICO, GoBowling.com, HotelPlanner.com, MOTIV, 900 Global, PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game, Storm Products and the United States Bowling Congress, among others. For more information, log on to www.pba.com.


Rhino Page Wins PBA Xtra Frame Kenn-Feld Classic

It was an all Storm final at the PBA Xtra Frame Kenn-Feld Group Classic at Pla-Mor Lanes in Coldwater, OH. In the championship match Rhino Page defeated Chris Via 190-173. The players were tested with challenging lane conditions throughout the weekend.  Players who were able to control the pocket and make their spares were more likely to survive each cut. Team Storm member, Via, was the tournament leader after 17 games of qualifying for the finals with a score of 3,660. Page, qualified for the stepladder in second with a score of 3,520.

This was the 10th Annual Kenn-Feld Group Classic in Coldwater, OH. For 9 years it's been a well-attended regional event but this season Coldwater, OH hosted it's first national PBA Tour event. It was also the final event of the Xtra Frame Storm Cup series. Rick Hartings, the owner of Pla-Mor Lanes, puts together a weekend full of events for the players and fans to participate in which includes two Pro-Ams, a golf outing, and more. 96 bowlers traveled to Coldwater to compete for the $10,000 first-place prize as well as a share of $50,000 in bonus prize money from the seven-tournament XF Storm Cup Series. There were also 86 local sponsors who contributed money to the event this year.

We were able to talk to Rhino after the event was over. Read the interview below:

How much does this win mean to you? 

Of course, every win means a great deal but this one is very, very special to me. I've come here, to Coldwater, for 6 years now and it's just the greatest place on earth. It's the toughest building I've ever bowled in. The fans are just phenomenal. It's so much fun outside of just the bowling. It's not just a bowling tournament it's an event.

To be here with so many near and dear friends after these last 6 years and be able to bring home the win, I couldn't be more grateful.

What balls did you use?

Before I came here, I pondered over and over and over what balls to bring. I even called my buddy Cody who lives here. It seems like defensive balls have always been the right play for me. This week I threw the Storm Ride. It doesn't seem like much of a ball but it's awesome and kept me in play. I managed the pocket. I didn't bowl more than 228 but I only had 3 games under 200. When you do the math of can I do 260 140 or 200 200 I chose to go the steady eddy route. Had that ball not worked or as you saw in the final match I had to go to a Dare Devil Trick. That is still one of my favorite balls ever.

What's next on the schedule for you?

I get a couple of weeks off. Go home and work on the game a little bit more and then go to the Korea Cup followed by the Storm Fair. Konnichiwa to all of you in Japan! I can't wait to be there!


Danielle McEwan Wins Nationwide PWBA Rochester Open

It all came down to the 10th frame at the 2017 Nationwide PWBA Rochester Open. In the end, Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, New York, defeated Shannon Pluhowsky 226-224 to win her third PWBA title. The win earned McEwan $10,000 and a spot in the Smithfield PWBA Tour Championship in Richmond, Virginia. We caught up with Danielle between her travels to ask her some questions about her most recent win.

It means a lot that I was not only able to compete but able to walk away with a title from an event in my own state.

CBS Sports aired the Nationwide PWBA Rochester Open where you earned your third PWBA title this week? What did it mean to you to take home that title for a tournament that was hosted in your home state?

It was awesome to have a PWBA stop in New York, my home state. Even though Rochester isn't very close to where I live, I grew up bowling high school and other state tournaments all over the state. Therefore, I found myself constantly bumping into people that started conversations with phrases such as "I haven't seen you since high school" at this tournament.

What were your favorite Storm Bowling Balls in your bag this summer?

All of them!! The patterns we bowled on this summer were so drastically different from weekend to weekend, having multiple options to choose from allowed me to be consistent each week. Some of my favorites that stand out are the Sure Lock, Phaze II and Code Red.

What have you been up to during the off-weeks of the PWBA Tour on the road to the PWBA Tour Championships?

They may have been off weeks for the PWBA tour, but they haven't been off weeks for me by any means. I just got home from traveling to Sweden for the World Bowling Tour event. I now will have 3 days to get back on this time zone, get some good quality practice days on the lanes and in the gym and then it's off to Richmond!

What do you plan to do on the off-season?

Over the last few years, I've competed on the PWBA tour, the PBA tour, the World Bowling Tour, as well as represent Team USA in multiple international competitions. Therefore, there is really no off season for me. As soon as the PWBA Tour Championship wraps up, I will be training with Team USA and will then go right into another World Bowling Tour event in Thailand. The rest of the year will then be spent competing against the guys!

Do you have advice for bowlers who might be thinking about going out to test their skills on the PBA Tour or PWBA tour?

The advice I always give people who ask how to get to this point is to plan out your stepping stone path. For me, my path started with high school bowling, which led to college bowling, which led to Jr. Team USA then Team USA, and then out to competing on tour. For others that might mean competing in local tournaments, to regional events, to national events.

If your goal is to compete on the highest level on either tour - set a game plan on how to get there and work hard every day for it.

What’s one thing about yourself that fans might not know about you?

I love flying and I love airports. It's just recently become a new obsession- 100% related to my travel schedule over the last few years. In addition to constantly booking flights, I find myself doing research and reading tons of articles and blogs on different planes, airports and everything that has to do with travel. If you ever have any questions about seats on different aircrafts, fare classes, upgrades, the best places to eat in any given airport or the best way to argue with airline representatives, I can definitely help you out!


Liz Johnson Wins the 2017 Women's U.S. Open

USBC Hall of Famer, Liz Johnson, started as the #5 seed at the 2017 Women's U.S. Open. To make history, she'd need to climb the ladder and defeat all of her opponents, for a second year in a row. That's exactly what she did! In the final match, she defeated Daria Pajak 188-176 to claim a record 10th major title. The two-time reigning PWBA Player of the Year, also won the 2017 PWBA Storm Sacramento Open and Go Bowling PWBA Players Championship this season.

We caught up with Liz after her victory as she was traveling home to Chicago.

Over the weekend, you were able to win your fourth consecutive and sixth total U.S. Open title. What did it mean to you to put that green jacket on again?

I am still in amazement of what happened Sunday Aug 6, 2017.  To be a part of history of winning my 4th consecutive Women's U.S. Open and my 6th overall is just an unbelievable experience and something I will continue to cherish forever.

 

Photo: PWBA Tour

As the 2016 reigning Player of the Year, what were your goals heading into this season?

After winning the POY the last 2 seasons, I was just hoping to just make some shows and hopefully come out with a win.  I never imagined I would have the 2017 I have had.

I am very humbled and honored to be able to still compete at this level.

There’s about a month before the Smithfield PWBA Tour Championship, what will you be working on to prepare for the final tournament of the season?

In the few weeks we are off I will probably take a break from throwing a ball for about a week.  I am going to Montreal for a trade show and heading to Storm Products in Utah for the first time so I am extremely excited about that.

What were your favorite Storm Bowling Balls in your bag this summer?

I have used my Sure Lock(s), Code Black(s), and Code Red(s) a lot but my go-to ball throughout the 2017 PWBA season has been my Storm IQ Tour.  It's been the most versatile ball, no matter what pattern we have been on.

What do you plan to do on the off season?

I recently sold my house in Cheektowaga, NY and bought a house in Palatine, IL with my fiancé Kasia so we will be getting ready for all the fun stuff that goes with that.  I also got invited to bowl the US Open in November in Syracuse, NY so I will be preparing for that.

What’s one thing about yourself that fans might not know about you?

I played softball from age 8 to 18.  I was a pretty good pitcher in high school and played on varsity from 8th grade until I graduated.

Do you have advice for bowlers who might be thinking about going out to test their skills on the PBA Tour or PWBA tour?

I would just say to try and bowl anything and everything you can.   Try and go to different centers .  If you have a "home" house have them put patterns out.  Spares are always a big factor in bowling tournaments so never press the reset button.

The best way to learn about the mental game or "being strong mentally" is going out and doing it! To me that's the best way to learn and get stronger.