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ESPN, CBS agree to Pickleball broadcast deals

Jan. 23 (UPI) -- CBS and ESPN each agreed to pickleball broadcast deals, which will provide hundreds of coverage hours of the trending sport in 2023, the The Association of Pickleball Professionals announced Monday.

"We are delighted to welcome CBS Sports and ESPN to the APP and are excited to be working with two of the most significant names in sports media to bring the sport of pickleball to fans across the country," APP chief marketing officer Tom Webb said in a news release.

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"Over 36.5 million Americans played pickleball in 2022 and this media package enables those fans to tune in to our world-class tournaments, and introduces the sport and its best players to millions more. The APP exists to expand the sport of pickleball domestically and internationally and this media exposure is an important step in that mission."

The coverage plan includes a combined 20 hours of televised coverage of all 16 2023 APP Tour Events on CBS Sports Network and ESPN2. ESPN+ and APP TV also will air more than 200 hours of livestream coverage.

"As pickleball continues to grow in popularity across the country rapidly, we are looking forward to serving fans with coverage of the APP Tour across our ESPN platforms," said Tim Bunnell, ESPN's senior vice president of programming.

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"We are excited to be part of this sport's upward trajectory."

The fourth season of the APP Tour started Jan. 14 in Punta Gorda, Fla. That event aired on CBS Sports Network. The second event will be at 8 p.m. EST Feb. 12 in Daytona Beach, Fla., and air on ESPN2.

Additional APP Tour events will take place in California, Arizona, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey, Georgia, Texas and South Carolina.

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