As the 2012-13 Professional Bowlers Association season enters the homestretch with the PBA World Series of Bowling V at South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas beginning Oct. 25, the PBA has unveiled a new broadcast team concept along with its ESPN telecast schedule for the balance of the year and the start of the new 2014 season.
Starting Sunday, Dec. 1, at 1 p.m. ET, ESPN will televise seven two-hour events from WSOB V, beginning with the PBA Cheetah Championship and running consecutive Sundays through Jan. 12. In all, ESPN will air 36 hours of PBA action through April 13 – up from 29.5 hours in 2013 – as part of its new five-year agreement announced earlier this summer. (Full ESPN schedule at end of this story).
Redefining its coverage strategy, during WSOB V the PBA will utilize the same broadcast team across both its online streaming video service Xtra Frame and ESPN television platforms by featuring the primary duo of longtime ESPN analyst Randy Pedersen and play-by-play voice Mike Jakubowski. Jakubowski, who previously worked the PBA Summer Series on ESPN, has called the action on the Xtra Frame for the past five years.
Pedersen, who will return to the ESPN booth for the 13th consecutive year in 2014, is also bowling in the World Series, which will provide both Xtra Frame and ESPN viewers with unique insight from the viewpoint of a competitor. The 13-time PBA Tour titlist and 2011 PBA Hall of Fame inductee made a successful return to PBA competition in 2013 after a seven-year injury-plagued absence, winning the first tournament he entered as a PBA50 Tour competitor.
“I think it’s going to be a huge positive to experience the World Series and gain the first-hand knowledge that comes with competing over a grueling schedule with the other players,” said Pedersen, who will tie the late Hall of Famer Billy Welu for the second most seasons as PBA Tour color analyst (Nelson Burton Jr. holds the record with 23 seasons alongside Chris Schenkel for ABC). “I’m grateful for having been able to be the Tour’s color analyst all these years and to be mentioned in the same sentence with a great like Billy Welu is an honor.”
Joining the ESPN broadcast team will be former Miss USA Kimberly Pressler as sideline reporter. It will be Pressler's fourth PBA World Series of Bowling.
Xtra Frame's 60 hours of WSOB V live coverage from Oct. 25-31 will also find Jason Thomas, Jef Goodger and Matt Freiberg working with Jakubowski and Pedersen in providing extended commentary during World Series qualifying and match play rounds.
Jakubowski, the “voice of the PBA” for the past five years on Xtra Frame and as the PBA's public address announcer, has previously done national TV play-by-play work for the American Bowling Congress’ World Team Challenge, USBC Masters and Intercollegiate Team Championships.
"I'm honored to represent the Professional Bowlers Association and fans of pro bowling alongside Randy," said Jakubowski, a Milwaukee native.
The 2014 PBA schedule begins with a live telecast of the opening round of PBA League competition on Sunday, Jan. 26, at noon ET from Thunderbowl Lanes in suburban Detroit and will include seven PBA League telecasts culminating with the Elias Cup Finals. Other highlights on the 2014 schedule are the sixth annual Chris Paul PBA League All-Stars charity event from Lucky Strike-L.A. Live, which has become a Super Bowl Sunday tradition, airing Feb. 2; live coverage of the USBC Masters on Feb. 23, and live coverage of the PBA Tournament of Champions on April 6.
New to the ESPN schedule is the finals of the Teen Masters Grand Championship, presented by the PBA and conducted on the World Series television lanes, which will follow the Japan Cup telecast on ESPN at 5 p.m. ET on Jan. 19.
PBA fans can subscribe to Xtra Frame for a monthly subscription fee $7.99, an annual fee of $64.99, or a daily fee of $5 during the World Series. For subscription and schedule information, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link.
2013-14 PBA ESPN TELEVISION SCHEDULE (all times are Eastern)
Sunday, Dec. 1 – Cheetah Championship, South Point, Las Vegas, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 8 – Viper Championship presented by PBA Bowling Challenge, South Point, Las Vegas, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 15 – Chameleon Championship, South Point, Las Vegas, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 22 – Scorpion Championship, South Point, Las Vegas, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 29 – PBA World Championship, South Point, Las Vegas, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 5 – World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals presented by PBA, South Point, Las Vegas, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 12 – PBA50 Tour Finals and PBA Regional Players Invitational Finals, South Point, Las Vegas, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 19 – Round1 Japan Cup, Minami Suna Round1 Bowling Center, Tokyo, Japan, 3 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 19 – Teen Masters Grand Championship, South Point, Las Vegas, 5 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 26 – PBA League (live), Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich., Noon
Sunday, Feb. 2 – Chris Paul PBA League All-Stars, Lucky Strike-L.A. Live, Los Angeles, 4 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 9 – PBA League, Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich., 3 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 16 – PBA League, Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich., 3 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 23 – USBC Masters (live), Brunswick Zone Carolier, North Brunswick, N.J., 3 p.m.
Sunday, March 2 – PBA League, Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich., 3 p.m.
Sunday, March 23 – PBA League Position Round, Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich., 1 p.m.
Sunday, March 30 – PBA League Wild Card Round, Brunswick Zone Carolier, North Brunswick, N.J., 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 6 – PBA Tournament of Champions (live), Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis, 1 p.m.
Sunday, April 13 – PBA League Elias Cup Finals, Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis, 2 p.m.
WORLD SERIES OF BOWLING V XTRA FRAME LIVE SCHEDULE (all times are Eastern)
Friday, Oct. 25 – High 5 Gear PBA League Challenge, 5:45 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 26 - Cheetah Championship Qualifying, 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.; Round of 24, 10 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 27 – Viper Championship Qualifying, 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.; Round of 24, 10 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 28 – Chameleon Championship Qualifying, 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.; Round of 24, 10 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 29 – Scorpion Championship Qualifying, 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.; Round of 24, 10 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 30 – PBA World Championship Match Play, 1:30 and 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 31 – PBA World Championship Match Play, 4:30 p.m.