Tennis Channel, Carvana Professional Pickleball Association form joint venture to make fastest-growing sport

September 27, 2023: Professional Pickleball is seeing a unexplored home on the Tennis Channel, as the PPA Tour and Tennis Channel said a joint venture to further develop and popularize this growing sport in the U.S.

Under this partnership, Tennis Channel will produce all PPA Tour events and secure most broadcasting rights on its pay-TV network and streaming media.

Additionally, the partnership will lead to the creation of “pickleball tv,” a 24/7 standalone free, ad-supported streaming channel dedicated to showcasing matches and entertainment related to the sport.

While specific financial issues were not disclosed, the deal allows Tennis Channel’s owner, Sinclair, to potentially acquire an equity stake in, the parent company of the PPA Tour. The partnership is structured as a 50-50 joint venture, with the PPA Tour providing capital and Tennis Channel donating its production and media expertise.

This move aligns with industry trends where sports organizations increasingly handle their production, akin to how Apple works with Major League Soccer (MLS). By doing so, they aim to achieve cost efficiency and scale.

The collaboration aims to facilitate more media rights agreements, leveraging Tennis Channel’s experience in TV carriage negotiations and expanding their streaming platforms.

 Tennis Channel will have broadcasting rights for most PPA Tour matches, with any live events aired on other networks being shown on Tennis Channel platforms on the same day with on-demand access.

This partnership reflects Tennis Channel’s existing interest in pickleball, having aired PPA Tour events in recent years. It’s expected to open up sponsorship and advertising opportunities by combining the marketing capabilities of both entities.

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