Tennis Channel and the Carvana Professional Pickleball Association (PPA Tour) have announced a new partnership aimed at promoting and growing the sport of pickleball. The joint venture will include broadcasting PPA Tour matches on Tennis Channel platforms, integrating advertising-sales efforts, and the launch of a 24-hour pickleball channel. Tennis Channel will produce all events for the PPA Tour, featuring top players like Ben Johns and Anna Leigh Waters. Additionally, Tennis Channel will create Pickleballtv, a dedicated pickleball channel, and separate websites and apps for the tour. Viewers will have access to PPA Tour coverage on Tennis Channel’s various platforms, including its free ad-supported streaming television channel, T2, as well as its subscription streaming service, Tennis Channel Plus. The agreement also gives Tennis Channel’s parent company, Sinclair Ventures, the option to invest in the parent company of the PPA Tour.
Pickleball has seen significant growth in the United States, becoming the fastest-growing sport for three consecutive years according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association Topline Participation Report. This partnership aims to capitalize on that growth and expand the popularity of pickleball in the country and worldwide. Both Tennis Channel and the PPA Tour will work together to enhance the sport’s media infrastructure and consumer experience, while also attracting sponsorship from organizations interested in the sport. The partnership will also include coverage of the recently merged Major League Pickleball (MLP by Margaritaville) on Tennis Channel’s platforms, featuring celebrity owners such as Tom Brady, Eva Longoria, and LeBron James.
Tennis Channel has been actively covering pickleball since 2021 and this partnership further solidifies their commitment to the sport. However, tennis matches will take precedence over pickleball in terms of live broadcasting rights.