Tennis Channel, Carvana PPA Tour Launch Pickleballtv 24-Hour Network
November 12, 2023
LOS ANGELES and DALLAS, Nov. 9, 2023 – Tennis Channel and the Carvana Professional Pickleball Association (PPA Tour) have launched Pickleballtv (PBTV), a television network completely devoted to America’s fastest-growing sport. Available now on Amazon Freevee and Fubo, the new, 24-hour media home of pickleball will show more than 30 top-level live PPA Tour and Major League Pickleball (MLP) team events, original programming and a weekly studio news show. Pickleballtv, like Tennis Channel, will offer thorough coverage of the sport’s professional ranks along with content created for its expanding number of recreational enthusiasts.
Making its debut during the PPA Tour National Championships in Dallas this week, Pickleballtv will most often show live or encore match coverage featuring the best professional players in the world battling at the most important events in the sport. Interspersed with this competition are Getting to Know You features on the men and women who make up the PPA Tour and MLP, stars like Ben Johns, Anna Leigh Waters and Catherine Parenteau. There will also be instructional programs that help amateurs understand and improve their own on-court capabilities, with episodes on serve strategy, dinking, volley drills, midcourt play, backhands, shifting and overheads, among others. A celebrity pickleball show is in the works, as is a weekly studio news show.
Both the PPA Tour and Tennis Channel expect Pickleballtv to become one-stop shopping for fans who want to stay on top of this exponentially growing sport.
“Tennis Channel and the PPA Tour are doing something that hasn’t been done before – taking a fast-growing sport in its infancy and attaching an experienced, state-of-the-art media arm to its development in the form of Pickleballtv,” said Ken Solomon, president, Tennis Channel. “We have no doubt that 24/7, consistent, daily coverage of the best players, events and news on a dedicated pickleball channel will generate new fans and give existing ones a place to call home, thus expanding the sport’s overall reach and global popularity. We’ve driven massive new awareness with Tennis Channel during the past two decades and we expect nothing less with this exciting new network and explosive, young pro sport and easy-to-learn, highly addictive grassroots game.” According to February’s annual Sports & Fitness Industry Association Topline Participation Report, pickleball has been the fastest-growing sport in the United States for three consecutive years, increasing 159% in that time. Professional tennis stars Jack Sock, Genie Bouchard and Sam Querrey have recently thrown their hats into the PPA Tour ring and will appear on Pickleballtv. Meanwhile, MLP, the team league that is part of the PPA Tour, has garnered attention due to a long line of well-known owners, including Tom Brady, Eva Longoria, LeBron James, Chris Evert, Naomi Osaka and Hall of Fame Tennis Channel-analyst Tracy Austin.
“The PPA Tour has worked in lockstep with Tennis Channel, and we’re proud to launch Pickleballtv coinciding with the largest tournament in pickleball history. There are so many exciting things happening in our sport right now, and the addition of daily media coverage capable of reaching an unprecedented audience for the sport is a watershed moment for pickleball enthusiasts everywhere who want continuous access to a host of unique and innovative content,” said Connor Pardoe, founder and CEO of the PPA Tour. “The PPA Tour is home to tremendously gifted athletes who deserve to be household names, and Pickleballtv will facilitate that transition. Prepare to be entertained with a variety of outstanding programming that will take your fandom to new heights!”
The launch coincides with the Biofreeze USA Pickleball National Championships Powered by Invited and the PPA Tour in Dallas, one of the largest events of the season. Pickleballtv provided live coverage of a celebrity pickleball exhibition that featured a variety of Texas-related sports stars. The Deep Eddy Vodka Celebrity Pickleball Showdown showcased basketball’s Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd, football’s Tony Romo, golf’s Scottie Scheffler, hockey’s Marty Turco and tennis’ John Isner joined by several of the best players on the PPA Tour.
In September Tennis Channel and the PPA Tour announced a commercial joint venture to grow pickleball in the United States and around the world. Under the agreement, most PPA Tour matches appear live on Tennis Channel’s various media platforms and both organizations coordinate advertising-sales activities. Tennis Channel also produces all events for the PPA Tour, regardless of the media outlets on which they first appear.
The PPA Tour and Tennis Channel are in conversation with multiple distribution partners to roll Pickleballtv out to as many homes as possible.