PBA HEADED FOR THE GUTTER?
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's "ScoreCard" reports that the
Professional Bowlers Association is having trouble finding
corporate backers for some of its events, and two of its 15
events have yet to be sponsored at all. Although ABC, who has
aired the tour for 33 years, has renewed its contract with the
PBA, it did so for a fee of $700,000 for 14 events, down from
$3.52M for 24 events in its previous deal. True Value has
recently ended its 12 year affiliation with the tour, and the
Tournament of Champions, the sport's "crown jewel," has had to
find its third sponsor in as many years. Although bowling still
"dominates its Saturday time slot," ABC senior VP Dennis Lewin
says that "Ratings aren't a problem. Revenues are" (SPORTS
ILLUSTRATED, 1/16 issue).