Sunday, December 14, 2014

New PBA Season, Different Format

source: PBA
From L to R: Dick Allen, Brad Angelo, Anthony Pepe, Liz Johnson 
Today marked the 2014-15 opening season for the PBA on ESPN. The season opener started with the Cheetah Championship. Congratulations to Anthony Pepe, who won his first PBA title on TV.

For those of you that follow ESPN's PBA broadcasts, you'll notice the format is different. In previous years, it was a 2-hour stepladder format. A viewer would see the top 5 seeds bowl. 

The first match would feature the #5 seed bowl against the #4 seed. The winner of that match would then bowl the #3 seed. It goes up the "stepladder" until the final match, which is against the #1 seed. On occasion (and pretty exciting to see) a #5 seed work his way up and defeat the top seed.

At least for today's and next week's match, these are the major changes:
  • Broadcast time is cut in half, from 2 hours to 1.
  • The top 4 seeds (rather than 5) bowl the finals on TV.
  • The #2, #3 and #4 seeds bowl each other in a 1-game match. Winner of that match meets the #1 seed in the finals.
As a big fan of the PBA tour and the broadcasts, I don't like it. Especially the reduction in air time from 2 hours to 1. 

I know these matches have to compete with the much more popular and lucrative NFL, NBA and NHL games, but that's why I have a DVR. It enables me to watch the matches at a later time. Die hard bowling fans will say this is why I should subscribe to Xtra Frame. For $64.99/year, I may very well do that.

Based on the Xtra Frame preview (see below) of how the finalists made it to today's show, this big bowling fan might be so inclined.

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