North American Bowling News
PBA Unveils $1 Million Tournament of Champions as Part of Plans for 2010-2011
Innovations in broadcast coverage, return of World Series of Bowling Unveiled to Exempt Tour players
SEATTLE, Wash. (March 18, 2010) – The Professional Bowlers Association laid out general plans for the 2010-11 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour season Wednesday in a meeting with the Exempt Tour players in Norwich, Connecticut.
"The Professional Bowlers Association has weathered the most difficult economic year for professional sports of all kinds that most of us have ever seen,” said PBA Tour Commissioner and CEO Fred Schreyer, “and we are continuing to reshape the future of professional bowling by introducing new concepts that are both necessary and exciting."
Highlights of the announcements made by Schreyer and Deputy Commissioner and CEO Tom Clark included:
- The PBA Tour’s signature event, the 2011 PBA Tournament of Champions, will feature a record $1 million prize fund and a $250,000 first prize, the richest in professional bowling history. Different eligibility rules will open the event to any PBA title winner, including players who have won National, Regional, Senior and Women’s Series titles. The Tournament of Champions will air on ESPN on Jan. 23, 2011. The 2010 Tournament of Champions, which was won by Kelly Kulick in history-making fashion, produced the highest audience ratings for the PBA in five years.
- The 2010-11 ESPN television schedule will include 23 original PBA programs, beginning in late November and running through April.
- Lumber Liquidators has affirmed its commitment as the PBA Tour’s title sponsor through September 2011. Lumber Liquidators has been the title sponsor since the beginning of the 2008-09 PBA Tour season.
- The PBA World Series of Bowling will return, producing nine separate TV shows and culminating with the PBA World Championship. In a story that captured the imagination of the sports world, the 2009 PBA World Championship was won by Michigan’s Tom Smallwood. A United States vs. the World special competition will also emanate from the WSOB. Last year’s inaugural PBA World Series of Bowling had participation from 700 different professionals from 14 different nations.
- A new “Xtra Frame Tour” will bring the PBA Tour players to at least five different locations across the nation for competitions that will be “broadcast” exclusively on pba.com’s Xtra Frame video-streaming service, but will not air on network television. The non-televised events will be conducted using a format similar to that used on the PBA Senior Tour. Since its introduction during the World Series of bowling, Xtra Frame has grown consistently, more than doubling its subscriber base since August 2009.
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