ESPN Going Back To Its Roots, Signs Two-Year Deal With AVP


It seems like just yesterday that ESPN was airing only archery, pool, and various lumberjack events. They’ve also been grabbing up every tv deal available these days, so heck….why not bring some Beach Volleyball into the fray!?

ESPN has signed a two-year deal with the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP), and will begin airing events this April. Via ESPN PR….

Today the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour announced a broadcast agreement with ABC and ESPN to televise its events over the next two years. The agreement includes 13 AVP telecasts in 2010, four on ABC and nine on ESPN2. The schedule totals more than 19 hours of live HD coverage for the season, including the Tour Championship in Chicago, giving the AVP its most consistent television footprint ever. Coverage will begin with the Tour’s season-opener in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., April 18 at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

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“This new agreement gives us a consistent national reach that will be essential to our growth as a sport, and we couldn’t be more excited that both our passionate fans and a growing new audience will be able to follow us on ESPN,” said Jason Hodell, Chief Executive Officer of the AVP. “The 2010 season will showcase the veterans and new stars of the AVP to a very large audience, and there couldn’t be a better place for that exposure than ABC and ESPN.”

“As one of the most athletic and action packed sports in the world, we look forward to working with the AVP,” added Doug White, ESPN senior director of programming. “The matches will be a great addition to ESPN’s programming and we are excited to present coverage of the league, their athletes and their tournaments across our multimedia platforms.”

ESPN’s multimedia coverage of the AVP will include six hours of action on ABC and 13.5 hours of men’s and women’s weekend action, live streaming of the matches on ESPN360.com, ESPN’s 24/7 broadband sports network soon to be renamed ESPN3.com, and up-to-the-minute scores via the ESPN ScoreCenter mobile app for iPhone and iPod Touch devices.

There’s no doubting Beach Volleyball’s popularity during the Olympics, but I’m not sure if that will translate over to cable television. Here’s the schedule if you’d like to check it out though….

2010 ESPN and ABC AVP Television Schedule

Sun, April 18th - Women/Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (ESPN2,ESPN360, 5:30pm)
Sun, May 2nd - Men/Santa Barbara, Calif. (ESPN2/ESPN360, 5:30pm)
Sun, June 6th - 2 p.m. Women/Huntington Beach, Calif. (ESPN2, ESPN360, 2pm)
Sun, June 6th - Men/Huntington Beach, Calif. (ABC, 4pm)
Sun, June 20th - Women/Virginia Beach, Va. (ESPN2, ESPN360, 2pm)
Sun, June 27th - Women/Belmar, N.J. (ESPN2, ESPN360, 2pm)
Sun, July 18th - Men/Hermosa Beach, Calif. (ESPN2, Midnight)
Sun, July 25th – Women/Malibu, Calif. (ABC, 4pm)
Sun, July 25th - Men/Malibu, Calif. (ESPN2, ESPN360, 11pm)
Sun, Aug. 22nd - Women/Manhattan Beach, Calif. (ABC, 4:30pm)
Sun, Aug. 29th - Men/Chicago, Ill. (ABC, 1:30pm)
Sun, Aug. 29th - Women/Chicago, Ill. (ESPN2, Midnight)
Sun, Sep. 19th - Flex/Hermosa Beach, Calif. (ESPN2, Midnight)

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