ESPN Strikes Extension With the PBA

Under Five-Year Renewal, Programmer Increases Coverage to 36 Annual Hours
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ESPN has agreed to a new five-year rights deal with the Professional Bowlers Association.

The new agreement begins with the 2013 World Series of Bowling on Dec. 1, 2013, and will see ESPN's coverage increase from 25.2 hours to 36 hours per year. The new pact follows a successful inaugural season of the PBA League, which features celebrity owners including Chris Paul, Terrell Owens, Kevin Hart and Billie Jean King. The circuit begins its sophomore campaign on Jan. 5.

"We are thrilled to continue our long-standing relationship with the PBA, which dates back to 1979, ESPN's inaugural year. Bowling makes for compelling television, and with last year's addition of the PBA League, it has the potential for appealing to a broader audience," said Jason Bernstein, ESPN senior director, programming.

ESPN has televised the PBA since 1979.