LOS ANGELES and DALLAS, Sept. 26, 2023 – Tennis Channel and the Carvana Skilled Pickleball Affiliation (PPA Tour) have fashioned a business three way partnership to additional construct pickleball – America’s quickest rising sport – on this nation and worldwide. Efficient instantly, the partnership will see the overwhelming majority of PPA Tour matches seem dwell on Tennis Channel platforms, built-in advertising-sales efforts for media and tournaments, and the launch of a 24-hour pickleball channel. Tennis Channel will produce all occasions for the PPA Tour, the game’s skilled pinnacle and residential to the highest female and male pickleball gamers around the globe. This consists of No. 1 gamers Ben Johns and Anna Leigh Waters.
The community will work with the PPA Tour to create Pickleballtv, a standalone pickleball channel – initially a FAST channel however finally additionally a streaming dwell/video-on-demand service – and separate web sites and apps solely devoted to the tour. A minimal of 100 dwell hours of PPA Tour play will seem yearly on Tennis Channel and its free ad-supported streaming tv (FAST) channel, T2. Viewers can have additional entry to PPA Tour protection on the community’s subscription streaming service, Tennis Channel Plus, its web site and its app. Because the producer of all PPA Tour content material, Tennis Channel can have the appropriate to point out each match on the tour, together with same-day delay and on-demand entry to competitors that doesn’t seem dwell on the community. Pickleball fanatics who at present watch matches on-line at no cost on different platforms will proceed to take action on Tennis Channel’s web site.
With the settlement, Tennis Channel parent-company Sinclair Ventures has the choice to put money into the dad or mum firm of the PPA tour.
In keeping with February’s annual Sports activities & Health Trade Affiliation Topline Participation Report, pickleball has been the fastest-growing sport in the USA for 3 consecutive years, rising 159% in that point.
“That is an thrilling second within the ongoing evolution of the Carvana PPA Tour,” mentioned Tom Dundon, proprietor of Pickleball.com and the Skilled Pickleball Affiliation. “There’s no firm on the planet that’s as effectively positioned as Tennis Channel to instantly capitalize and broaden upon the present pickleball explosion and the early success of the PPA Tour. Their mannequin is exclusive in sportscasting, and we couldn’t be happier to work with them to develop a constant, dependable house for present pickleball followers and others to return.”
Each organizations will work carefully to mix the tour’s yearlong premier pickleball competitors and the community’s media infrastructure to maximise the PPA Tour’s leverage whereas rising the recognition of and participation within the sport in the USA and overseas. Tennis Channel staples – authentic storytelling, studio productions, podcast materials, social and on-line content material, ongoing promotion, and round the clock dialog – will probably be developed for pickleball audiences and the tour will work with the community to reinforce the in-person and on-air client expertise. As a part of the association, each will even work collectively to faucet into the rising sponsorship demand of organizations which can be within the common sport. Tennis Channel and PPA Tour gross sales groups will provide mixed packages throughout the tour, occasions and media platforms.
“Tom and (PPA Tour CEO Connor Pardoe) and their groups have created the gold customary in pickleball,” mentioned Ken Solomon, president, Tennis Channel. “The way forward for any sport is pushed by its media strategy. Tennis Channel has spent 20 years streamlining the sheer quantity of tennis, its excursions and its schedules in an easy-to-follow system throughout common platforms. Now we’re going to use that very same hub-and-spoke mannequin to point out folks how compelling pickleball and its stars are on the skilled stage.”
A variety of energetic or just lately energetic skilled tennis gamers have performed or plan to play on the PPA Tour, amongst them Grand Slam doubles champion Jack Sock, former WTA No.5 Genie Bouchard and former ATP No.11 Sam Querrey. Main League Pickleball (MLP by Margaritaville), the workforce league which was simply introduced to have merged with the PPA Tour beneath a brand new united holding firm, will even obtain broad protection on Tennis Channel’s platforms. The league has generated widespread media consideration attributable to its intensive roster of celeb homeowners, amongst them Tom Brady, Eva Longoria and LeBron James. Former and present tennis gamers Chris Evert, Naomi Osaka, Tennis Channel analyst Tracy Austin and Nick Kyrgios are additionally a part of MLP possession teams.
Pickleball has been a part of Tennis Channel’s long-term technique for the reason that sport’s burst in reputation lately. The community first aired a PPA Tour occasion in September 2021 earlier than drastically increasing its protection in 2022, with occasions on its platforms all year long. There are 25 PPA Tour occasions on the 2023 calendar.
The community is not going to air pickleball in time durations the place it has the rights to dwell tennis. Tennis Channel celebrated its twentieth anniversary on Could 15.