The National Pickleball League signed its first-ever television deal with CBS Sports heading into the 2024 season.
CBS Sports Network will have exclusive coverage of the Gamma Sports National Pickleball League Championship held in Glendale, Arizona, last October. The games saw the Indie Drivers – with Rick Witsken, Kim Jagd, Nathalie Bagby, and Tao Thongvanh – win the inaugural title over the Austin Ignite.
The two-hour 2023 Championship tournament featuring six teams will air on CBS Sports Network on January 31 at 10:30 p.m. ET. The network will also air additional NPL programming during the 2024 season, which kicks off in May.
The deal comes ahead of another major CBS Sports event, Super Bowl LVIII. Pickleball reflects a fresh addition to CBS Sports Network and takes advantage of its growing popularity. Pickleball coverage previously only had coverage through streaming services like Fubo, Freevee, and Sling via PickleTV. There are more than 36.5 million players in the U.S., and the game is played in more than 70 countries, with hundreds of professional Pickleball events every year.
The NPL is the premier nationwide team competition for Champions Division professional pickleball players ages 50 and older. The league features top pro players from around the world.
“We are delighted to bring the unique and entertaining experience of professional pickleball to CBS Sports and their platforms as we launch Year Two of the National Pickleball League,” said Paul Bamundo, chief executive officer at NPL. “This partnership is a clear indication of the demand for pickleball programming in North America, providing NPL more national television exposure to tell stories about our players, teams, and fans who have such a passion for this sport.”
“NPL Pickleball is breathing new life into the competitive dreams of champion pros over the age of 50,” said Michael Chen, co-founder of NPL. “The league serves as a reminder that age should never be a barrier to pursuing one’s passions and achieving greatness.”
CBS Sports Network is available to stream online and on Paramount+.
Image credit: National Pickleball League