Chris Paul Invitational pulls largest ESPN audience since 2012


    2015 PBA Spare Shots #6

    Voting for greatest PBA Tournament of Champions televised moment still open; new "Grateful Dead" PBA promo, Pete Weber spot debut; World Bowling Tour news; PBA Regional Update

    2015CP3FrenchMontanaChrisPaulRonnieRussell.jpgThe ESPN broadcast of Chris Paul's CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational presented by Bowlmor AMF averaged 1.1 million viewers on Super Bowl Sunday, the largest audience for any PBA telecast since 2012.

    The two-hour show, a fund-raiser benefiting the CP3 Foundation and featuring 10 PBA stars, also had a strong rating amongst the highly sought-after 18-49-year-old male and female audience, garnering the highest rating in that demographic for a PBA telecast since 2010.

    For those who may have missed it, the sixth CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational was won by the team of Ronnie Russell (right) and rapper French Montana (left), 150-139, over perennial favorites Jason Belmonte and host Chris Paul (center).

    Bowlmor AMF hosted the event at AMF Bowl-O-Drome in Torrance, Calif. Montana, an admitted bowling novice, used a straight-down-the-middle approach and became an instant media darling across the hip hop landscape. Montana, on his own, has more than three million Twitter followers.

    The CP3 ratings came on the heels of an announcement that audiences for the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI telecasts were up by just over 18 percent over the previous year.


    Cast your vote for greatest PBA Tournament of Champions televised moment

    201550thTOCLogo.jpgWhat was the greatest moment in PBA Tournament of Champions television history? In celebration of the 50th anniversary tournament which gets underway on Tuesday, Feb. 11, at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis, you are invited to vote on your favorite, starting Sunday, by clicking on the special "TOC Poll" link at the top of the home page.

    Voting will be open until midnight ET on Monday, Feb. 9. The top three moments, based on fan voting, will be aired as part of the live ESPN telecast of the TOC finals on Sunday, Feb. 15, at 1 p.m. ET.

    Below is a list of 12 of the Tournament of Champions' most historic moments, listed in order of when they happened. Go to the online poll to cast your vote, or visit PBA on Facebook or Twitter if you have another special moment you think the PBA's panel of experts missed.

    • 1967 - Jack Biondolillo shoots the first TV 300 game in PBA history.
    • 1970 - Don Johnson shoots 299 in the title match.
    • 1971 - Johnny Petraglia makes four straight TV shows and wins three straight titles, culminating with the T of C.
    • 1984 - Mike Durbin becomes the first player to win three T of C titles (1972, 1982 & 1984).
    • 1986 - Marshall Holman wins 2nd T of C and surpasses $1 million in career earnings (3rd player to do so).
    • 1991 - A bomb scare temporarily halts the telecast; David Ozio eventually wins the title.
    • 1993 - George Branham wins the last Firestone T of C and becomes first African-American to win the event.
    • 1995 - Mike Aulby wins to complete Bowling's Triple Crown and Grand Slam.
    • 2002 - Jason Couch wins his third straight T of C title to become the only "three-peat" winner in the event.
    • 2010 - Kelly Kulick becomes the first female to win a PBA Tour title.
    • 2011 - Mika Koivuniemi shoots 299 vs. Tom Daugherty's 100 in the semifinal match, then wins the event and a PBA record $250,000 first prize.
    • 2013 - Pete Weber becomes the oldest player to win the event at age 50 (his second T of C win).


    New "Grateful Dead" PBA promo, Pete Weber "This Is Sports Center" spot debut

    2014PBAPeteWeber3_small.jpgESPN's family of stations are now airing a new PBA promotional spot for Sunday's live telecast of the USBC Masters finals (1 p.m. ET). The new spots feature the Grateful Dead song "Franklin's Tower" and its lyrics, "roll away..." The PBA on ESPN tagline remains "Love The Lanes."

    PBA fans also should watch for the debut Sunday of a new "This Is Sports Center" spot featuring PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber (left). The spot can bee seen here.


    Special PBA League bowling balls to debut on "PBA Bowling Challenge" game

    2013PBABowlingChallengeBanner.jpgConcrete Software will begin to debut PBA League team balls into the PBA Bowling Challenge game over the next eight weeks, leading up to the PBA League Elias Cup competition March 28-29 at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine.

    PBA League logoed bowling balls will be available for use by the legion of PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game users beginning today (Feb. 4) with the introduction of the Dallas Strikers ball.

    The other PBA League balls and their debut dates are: New York WTT KingPins (Feb. 12), Silver Lake Atom Splitters (Feb. 19), Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits (Feb. 26), Motown Muscle (March 5), L.A. X (March 12), BROOKLYN STyLES (March 19) and Philadelphia Hitmen (March 26).

    The PBA Bowling Challenge by Concrete Software app is available on Google Play, Apple iOS, Amazon App Store and Nook. The mobile device game, a segment of the multi-media PBA Network, has more than 11 million regular users.


    Kuwait, Thailand events no longer on World Bowling Tour schedule

    WBTLogo_small.jpgThe PBA has learned the previously-announced PBA International-World Bowling Tour Kuwait Open, scheduled for March 10-14, and the WBT Thailand, a to-be-announced event, are no longer on the 2015 WBT schedule. The announcement was made on Feb. 3 by World Bowling President Kevin Dornberger.


    PBA Regional Update: "Challenge," PBA50 events on the weekend schedule

    The PBA Regional schedule for the Feb. 6-8 weekend includes the Break Point Alley South Challenge presented by DV8, a tournament for non-title winners, in Tavares, Fla., and the PBA50 Tony Grigat Allstate Midwest/Central Open at River Rand Lanes in Des Plaines, Ill.

    The Feb. 20-22 weekend includes the PBA50 Dave Edwards Toyota South Open presented by Ebonite in Spartanburg, S.C.; the Lakewood Colorado Southwest Open at Holiday Bowling and Billiards; the Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort West Championship at Gold Country Lanes in Sutter Creek, Calif., and the Lynwood Midwest Challenge presented by Roto Grip, a non-titlists event, at Lynwood Bowl in Lynwood, Ill.

    For complete Regional tournament schedules and entry information, click here.


    Quick Notes

    Reminder: Tickets for the live ESPN telecast of the 50th anniversary Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions, and the finals of the PBA Players Championship and Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship, over the Feb. 14-15 Valentine's Day weekend at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis are now on sale on For ticket information, click here.


    Related Articles

    2015 PBA Spare Shots #05 - January 31, 2015
    2015 PBA Spare Shots #04 - January 24, 2015
    2015 PBA Spare Shots #03 - January 15, 2015
    2015 PBA Spare Shots #02 - January 8, 2015
    2015 PBA Spare Shots #01 - January 3, 2015
    2014 PBA Spare Shots