World-First Deal Sees APP Tour Events Broadcast in China via STAR Sports

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July 20, 2023
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The Association of Pickleball Players (APP) has announced an extension of its distribution agreement with ESPN in the United States to bring APP Tour coverage to Mainland China. This deal marks the first time the APP tour will air in China, the largest media market in the world, to millions of potential viewers.  

In January 2023, the APP announced its historic partnership with ESPN  to stream hundreds of hours of APP Tour coverage on ESPN+ and air eight hours of post-event recap specials on ESPN and ESPN2. The agreement expands APP event coverage overseas into one of the biggest media markets in the world.

The latest addition to the ESPN / APP agreement builds on the APP’s partnerships with Pickleball England, Pickleball Sweden, and the organization’s activities supporting the growth of pickleball worldwide. This further cements the APP’s position as the global leader of the development of pickleball in international markets, another important element of the APP’s position as the steward of the game in the United States and internationally.  

"The announcement of the extension of our partnership with ESPN into Mainland China is a historic day for the APP, and for pickleball worldwide," commented Tom Webb, Chief Marketing Officer of the APP. "There is a huge and ever-growing demand for pickleball in the United States and globally, and being able to take APP tournaments into tens of millions of potential viewers throughout China will help supercharge the already incredible growth of the sport in one of the largest markets on the planet."  

The first APP Tour broadcast in China will feature a post-tournament recap special from the 2023 APP Philadelphia Open, set to take place August 23-27 at the Upper Main Line YMCA. A full broadcast schedule will be announced at a later date.

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