AVP Tour Secures Two-Year Broadcast Deal with ESPN and ABC

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The world's best beach volleyball is coming to the Worldwide Leader in Sports. Thirteen national telecasts this season will give the AVP the most consistent television footprint in the history of the sport.

Today the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour announced a broadcast agreement with ABC and ESPN to televise its events over the next two years. The agreement includes 13 AVP telecasts in 2010, four on ABC and nine on ESPN2. The schedule totals more than 19 hours of live HD coverage for the season, including the Tour Championship in Chicago, giving the AVP its most consistent television footprint ever. Coverage will begin with the Tour’s season-opener in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., April 18 at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

“This new agreement gives us a consistent national reach that will be essential to our growth as a sport, and we couldn’t be more excited that both our passionate fans and a growing new audience will be able to follow us on ESPN,” said Jason Hodell, Chief Executive Officer of the AVP. “The 2010 season will showcase the veterans and new stars of the AVP to a very large audience, and there couldn’t be a better place for that exposure than ABC and ESPN.”

“During my 40 years in beach volleyball we have always tried to put the focus on our sport, the athleticism of its players, and the endurance it takes to play it,” said Mike Dodd, Commissioner of the AVP. “I believe this relationship with ESPN/ABC could do more in one broadcast to legitimize our players and the game than we know. This is a great day for Volleyball.”

“As one of the most athletic and action packed sports in the world, we look forward to working with the AVP,” added Doug White, ESPN senior director of programming. “The matches will be a great addition to ESPN’s programming and we are excited to present coverage of the league, their athletes and their tournaments across our multimedia platforms.”

ESPN’s multimedia coverage of the AVP will include six hours of action on ABC and 13.5 hours of men’s and women’s weekend action, live streaming of the matches on ESPN360.com, ESPN’s 24/7 broadband sports network soon to be renamed ESPN3.com, and up-to-the-minute scores via the ESPN ScoreCenter mobile app for iPhone and iPod Touch devices. The AVP will supplement the live coverage with additional streaming video on AVP.com of earlier rounds and behind the scenes action, giving the Tour its most consistent presence ever.

2010 ESPN and ABC AVP television schedule:

Date    Time (ET)    Match/Location    Network
Sun, April 18    5:30 p.m.    Women/Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.    ESPN2/ESPN2 HD/ESPN3
Sun, May 2    5:30 p.m.    Men/Santa Barbara, Calif.    ESPN2/ESPN2HD/ESPN3
Sun, June 6    2 p.m.    Women/Huntington Beach, Calif.    ESPN2/ESPN2 HD/ESPN3
Sun, June 6    4 p.m.     Men/Huntington Beach, Calif.    ABC/ABC HD
Sun, June 20    2 p.m.    Women/Virginia Beach, Va.    ESPN2/ESPN2 HD/ESPN3
Sun, June 27    2 p.m.    Women/Belmar, N.J.    ESPN2/ESPN2 HD/ESPN3
Sun, July 18    Midnight    Men/Hermosa Beach, Calif.    ESPN2/ESPN2 HD
Sun, July 25    4 p.m.    Women/Malibu, Calif.    ABC/ABC HD
Sun, July 25    11 p.m.    Men/Malibu, Calif.    ESPN2/ESPN2 HD/ESPN3
Sun, Aug. 22    4:30 p.m.    Women/Manhattan Beach, Calif.    ABC/ABC HD
Sun, Aug. 29    1:30 p.m.    Men/Chicago, Ill.    ABC/ABC HD
Sun, Aug. 29    Midnight    Women/Chicago, Ill.    ESPN2/ESPN2 HD
Sun, Sept. 19    Midnight    Flex/Hermosa Beach, Calif.    ESPN2/ESPN2 HD

About AVP:
AVP, Inc. is a leading lifestyle sports entertainment company focused on the production, marketing and distribution of professional beach volleyball events worldwide. The AVP is set to stage events throughout the United States in 2010 featuring more than 150 of the top male and female competitors in the sport. AVP athletes won both the women’s and men’s gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, marking the first gold medal sweep by a single country in the history of Olympic Beach Volleyball. AVP is headquartered in Los Angeles, California. For more information, visit http://www.avp.com.

About ESPN:
ESPN, Inc. is the world’s leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of over 50 multimedia sports assets. The company is comprised of six domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPNU), ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS and ESPNU HD simulcast services, ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (46 networks, syndication, radio, web sites), ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Enterprises, ESPN PPV, ESPN Zones (sports-themed restaurants), and other growing new businesses including ESPN360.com (Broadband), ESPN Mobile Properties, ESPN on Demand and ESPN Interactive. Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.

Facebook: AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour
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