ESPN to Televise 2011-12 Professional Bowlers Association Tour
ESPN will televise the 2011-12 Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour season in HD for the first time. Totaling 26.5 hours of coverage, the 18-show tour will begin Sunday, Dec. 4, at 1 p.m. ET with the GEICO World Bowling Tour (WBT) Finals. In the first hour, rivals Sean Rash, a four-time PBA Tour winner, and Jason Belmonte, a one-time titlist, will compete in the men’s semifinals. The winner faces top seed Mika Koivuniemi, reigning PBA Player of the Year.
Beginning at 2 p.m., Nina Flack and Sandra Andersson will compete in the women’s semifinal match for a position in the championship round. The winner contends with Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, who is the 2011 WBT women’s points leader.
The WBT finalists earned their place in the Dec. 4 contest as result of their finishing positions in earlier bowling tournaments in 2011.
In their fifth year together, play-by-play announcer Rob Stone and analyst Randy Pedersen will serve as ESPN’s commentator team for all events, which will be televised on Sunday afternoons through mid-April. The United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Masters (Jan. 29), the 69th U.S. Open (Feb. 26) and the year-end PBA Tournament of Champions (April 15) will all be televised live. The remaining telecasts will feature tournaments that took place in Las Vegas, Nev., in November, including the PBA World Championship and the Pepsi PBA Elite Players Championship (air dates are noted in the schedule).
ESPN3 will simulcast three events live from the schedule, including the USBC Masters, the 69th U.S. Open and the PBA Tournament of Champions. The multi-screen sports network is available to approximately 70 million households that receive their high-speed Internet or video subscription from an affiliated provider. It is accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE. Complete PBA coverage will also be available via WatchESPN online and on mobile and tablets devices for fans of an affiliated provider.
The relationship between ESPN and the PBA dates back to the network’s launch in 1979.
ESPN’s 2011-12 PBA Tour schedule:
* All event locations are South Point Hotel, Casino and Bowling Center, Las Vegas, Nev., unless otherwise noted.
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