Closing out a highly-successful season of ESPN coverage, the PBA Tour posted the largest audience ratings in the three-year history of PBA League competition. The PBA League Elias Cup finals from Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine, reached an audience of more than 670,000 viewers, up 66 percent over the previous year and up 22 percent over the inaugural Elias Cup finals held in 2013.
The strong PBA League ratings capped a season that began with the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling, where ESPN finals recorded 20-plus percent increases over the previous year, followed by even larger increases for five PBA telecasts airing in February into early March when ratings were up 66 percent over the same period in 2014. ESPN’s average viewership was over 920,000 for five shows including the CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational (at 1.1 million average viewers the highest for a PBA telecast since 2012), the USBC Masters (up 62% over 2014), 50th anniversary Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions, PBA Players Championship and Roth/Holman PBA Doubles Championship.
XTRA FRAME TO COVER BOWLMOR AMF U.S. OPEN PRELIMINARY ROUNDS
The PBA continues to expand its schedule of live online video streaming events, announcing that Xtra Frame will be the exclusive home for live qualifying and match play coverage of the 2015 Bowlmor AMF US Open, Nov. 2-8 in Garland, Texas. The U.S. Open will conclude with a live telecast on CBS Sports Network.
During 2015, Xtra Frame is providing its growing legion of subscribers with live coverage of all preliminary rounds of PBA Tour events, start-to-finish coverage of a series of new PBA Tour Xtra Frame tournaments, start-to-finish coverage of all PBA50 Tour events (except for the USBC Senior Masters, which will be covered by USBC’s BOWL.tv), and complete coverage of all new Professional Women’s Bowling Association events (except the nationally-televised finals of the PWBA majors including the USBC Queens, Bowlmor AMF Women’s U.S. Open and the end-of-season PWBA Championship).
Xtra Frame’s extensive video streaming schedule is available to a world-wide audience at nominal subscription rates: $3.99 for a three-day subscription for fans who want to watch a specific three-day event, $7.99 for a full month subscription, and $64.99 for a 12-month XF Season Ticket package. For complete information, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link. In addition to live event coverage, subscribers have access to Xtra Frame’s extensive archive of past PBA events, interviews, instructional videos and more.
PBA COMMISSIONER ADDRESSES USBC DELEGATION IN OMAHA
PBA Commissioner Tom Clark will provide United States Bowling Congress delegates, convened in Omaha for USBC’s annual meeting and convention, an update on PBA’s progress during the 2015 season Wednesday afternoon as part of the USBC’s industry update program. The session will be video-streamed on bowl.com’s BowlTV service.
BowlTV also will video-stream Wednesday night’s USBC Hall of Fame ceremonies, which will include the inductions of PBA members Larry Laub and Liz Johnson.
GENESIS, LANE MASTERS, LEGENDS by LANE MASTERS ARE PBA PRODUCT REGISTERED
Genesis Bowling Accessories along with Lane Masters and Legends by Lane Masters bowling balls will join the roster of PBA Product Registered brands as of April 30.
Genesis Bowling Accessories’ approved products include K-Motion (kinesiology) Tape; Excel Performance Thumb Tapes; leather ball-wipe pads; Hydro, Intense and Maxx ball cleaners; roller bags and its power wrist wrap. Lane Masters and Legends by Lane Masters bowling balls will be approved for use in PBA Regional and PBA50 Tour competition.
For more information about the PBA Product Registered program, including a complete listing of approved brands and products, go to the “approved products” link under the Resources tab on the pba.com home page (http://www.pba.com/ProductRegistration/Manufacturers/).
CBS SPORTS NETWORK ANNOUNCES GRAND CASINO PBA SUMMER SWING AIR DATES
CBS Sports Network and the PBA have announced the broadcast dates for five two-hour finals that will originate from the Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Hotel & Resort PBA Summer Swing from Shawnee, Okla., in late May. All five shows will air on consecutive Tuesdays beginning with the Wolf Open on May 26 at 8 p.m. ET.
The other telecasts, all airing at 9 p.m. ET, will include the Bear Open finals on June 2, the Badger Open on June 9, the PBA Oklahoma Open on June 16 and the Oklahoma’s Grand Casino Resort King of the Swing special event on June 23.
PBA STARS TO PARTICIPATE IN BABY REESA FOUNDATION PRO-AM JUNE 5
An all-star cast of PBA stars will participate in the second annual Baby Reesa Foundation Pro-Am No-Tap bowling tournament hosted by PBA/PWBA star Missy Parkin. The fund-raising event at Bowlium Lanes in Montclair, Calif., June 5, will benefit children with the disease Krabbe Leukodystrophy.
The event, which will be conducted in conjunction with the PBA Parkin’s Bowling Supply West Open regional June 6-7, will include PBA stars Josh Blanchard, Scott Norton, Clara Guerrero and Michael Haugen Jr. along with Parkin and others. The entry fee for the pro-am is $69 which includes participation in the Demo Day at 5:30 p.m. on June 5 where fans can try out the latest bowling equipment. For entry information, contact Bowlium Lanes at (909) 626-3528 or Drew Parkin at (323) 491-7221.
LONG-TIME PBA MEMBER BALDO CAMPANA DIES AT AGE 90
Baldo Campana, a long-time PBA member and the namesake of the upcoming PBA and PBA50 Baldo Campana Central/Midwest Open benefitting the Lorain County Kids Fund in his lifelong home, Lorain, Ohio, died Friday at Mercy New life Hospice in Lorain. He was 90.
Campana was the founder of Baldo Campana Concrete, a U.S. Army veteran, an accomplished artist and a skilled golfer, but his passion always was bowling. In honor of his 80th birthday in 2005, his five children and numerous grandchildren created the “Baldo Bash,” a New Year’s Day tournament hosted by Rebman Recreation, and eight years ago, Rebman Recreation and the PBA Central Region created the Baldo Campana Open in his honor. The 2015 PBA and PBA50 doubleheader will be held over the May 8-10 weekend. For more information about Campana, click here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/morningjournal/obituary.aspx?pid=174724774
PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: BLANCHARD CONTINUES HOT STREAK IN HAWAII
Josh Blanchard of Mesa, Ariz., defeated Tom Daugherty of Wesley Chapel, Fla., 247-239, to win the PBA Kona West/Northwest Open at KBXtreme Lanes in Kona, Hawaii, Monday, kicking off the joint West and Northwest Regions’ traditional Hawaii tripleheader series.
Blanchard, fresh off winning his first two PBA Tour titles in the Brunswick Euro Challenge and Xtra Frame PBA Maine Shootout, won his ninth PBA Regional title along with a $2,000 first prize. Blanchard defeated Missy Parkin of Laguna Hills, Calif., 268-224, and Daugherty defeated Austin Hunt of Kennewick, Wash., 278-219, in the semifinal round.
The Hawaii series continues with the PBA Hawaii West/Northwest Open presented by Storm at Scofield Air Base on Wednesday, and the PBA Hickam AFB West/Northwest Open Saturday and Sunday. Both events are hosted by U.S. military bases on Oahu.
● On the heels of winning his first PBA50 Tour title the previous week in the UnitedHealthcare Villages Open, Mike Scroggins of Amarillo, Texas, continued his winning ways as he defeated Ken Shealy of Myrtle Beach, S.C., 210-183, 238-198, in a best-of-three-game championship final to win his 42nd PBA Regional title in the Tarheel Lanes South Open in Hendersonville, N.C., on Saturday, April 25.
The Hendersonville stop included a number of PBA50 Tour players who were on their way to the PBA50 Miller High Life Classic in Mooresville, N.C. Scroggins, a rookie in PBA50 competition, earned $2,000. Shealy received $1,000 as runner-up.
In best-of-three-game semifinal round, Scroggins defeated Brian Cooper of Henderson, Nev., 237-156, 238-203, and Shealy took out Sammy Ventura of Syracuse, N.Y., 245-164, 174-145.
● Leading off the May regional schedule, over the May 1-3 weekend, will be the Junction City (Kan.) Bowl Southwest/Midwest Open presented by Radical, and the Pro Bowl West Tri-Region Member/Non-Member Doubles presented by the Proprietor’s Cup in Ft. Wayne, Ind.
The May 8-10 weekend includes a PBA/PBA50 joint regional doubleheader, the PBA and PBA50 Baldo Campana Central/Midwest Open benefitting the Lorain County Kids Fund, presented by Radical Bowling, at Rebman Recreation in Lorain, Ohio, and the PBA50 Station 300 Bluffton Open in Bluffton, S.C.
On the May 15-17 calendar are the Debbie & Leo Nunan Memorial Central Open presented by Nance Construction and Brunswick at AMF Stardust Lanes in Grove City, Ohio; the Victory Lanes Midwest Challenge (for non-champions) in Kankakee, Ill., and the Lightning Lanes Challenge in Marion, N.C. The originally-scheduled Bethmann Russell Syracuse Open at Thunderbird Lanes in Syracuse, N.Y., has been cancelled due to closing of the host center.
Heading into Memorial Day weekend, the East Region will host the Colony Park Lanes East Challenge (a reduced entry fee event) May 23 in York, Pa., while the Northwest Region hosts the PBA and PBA50 Daffodil Bowl Open presented by Sunset Chevrolet May 22-24 in Puyallup, Wash.
Closing the May schedule will be a West Region PBA50 doubleheader leading into the Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open – the 6th annual PBA50 Lona King Saguaro West Open at Johnson Lanes in Sun City West, Ariz., May 25-27, followed by the PBA50 Miller Lite Western Open at Starlite Lanes in Flagstaff, Ariz., May 27-29.
The Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open, presented by Storm, is set for May 31-June 5 at the Suncoast Casino, Hotel and Bowling Center in Las Vegas. The Senior U.S. Open – the first major on the 2015 PBA50 Tour schedule – will be covered live from start to finish on Xtra Frame.
For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area.
● Storm has announced the signing of former Major League Baseball pitching star John Burkett, a 50-year-old rookie on the PBA50 Tour, to its stable of staff representatives.
● Only two days remain to qualify for the April MOTIV Xtra Frame sweepstakes. If you are not an Xtra Frame subscriber, you can enter the MOTIV sweepstakes by signing up for a new Xtra Frame subscription – your choice of three-day ($3.99), monthly ($7.99) or 12-month XF Season Ticket ($64.99). MOTIV’s ball-a-month sweepstakes will continue throughout 2015.
● Another April reminder: Every month, HotelPlanner.com, the official travel partner of the PBA, is awarding a $200 lodging gift certificate to a lucky person who books a hotel room through HotelPlanner.com. Use the “Book Hotel” link on pba.com before the last day of the month, and you will be automatically entered. The $200 gift certificate will be valid for hotel room and tax only.
● Last call: You can still earn a discount on an Xtra Frame Season Ticket subscription with the purchase of a new bowling ball through a special limited-time arrangement with Bowling Infinity Group. Visit http://offthetrailer.com/ for details on how to earn a $25 discount and free shipping on the bowling ball-Xtra Frame Season Ticket package now through April 30.