FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 22nd, 2015
NBC SPORTS GROUP TO SERVE UP FIRST TELECAST OF 2015 AVP TOUR WEDNESDAY AT 12 AM ET ON NBCSN
Coverage of AVP New Orleans Open from Laketown in Kenner, La.
Paul Sunderland, Dain Blanton, and Kevin Wong to Call the Action from New Orleans
Stamford, Conn. – May 22, 2015 – NBC Sports Group and The AVP (Association of Volleyball Professionals) Pro Beach Volleyball Tour will present the AVP New Orleans Open, the first AVP Tour telecast of the 2015 season, this Wednesday at 12 a.m. ET on NBCSN.
NBCSN’s telecast will kick off the AVP’s 2015 season, as beach volleyball’s biggest stars take to the sand in Laketown in Kenner, La. for three days of main draw play, May 22-24. Players scheduled to compete include three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings and her partner, silver medalist April Ross; two-time Olympian Jake Gibb and his partner, Casey Patterson; Olympic gold medalist Phil Dalhausser and his partner, two-time Olympian Sean Rosenthal; and rising stars Theo Brunner, Tri Bourne, Summer Ross, Emily Day, Lane Carico.
Coverage of the AVP New Orleans Open will mark the first two hours of more than 17 hours of AVP Tour coverage airing on NBC and NBCSN in 2015, and the first event as part of the AVP’s and NBC Sports Group’s new multi-year media rights agreement.
Veteran broadcaster Paul Sunderland (play-by-play), Olympic gold medalist Dain Blanton (reporter), and beach volleyball Olympian and three-time All-American Kevin Wong (analyst) will be onsite to call the action from New Orleans. Blanton, Wong and Chris Marlowe (play-by-play) will manage duties for all other AVP telecasts on NBC and NBCSN this season.
NBC Sports Group’s schedule for the 2015 AVP Tour (all times ET, subject to change):
Date Time Network Event
Wednesday, May 27* 12 – 2 a.m. NBCSN AVP New Orleans Open
Saturday, June 20 4 – 6 p.m. NBC FIVB St. Petersburg Grand Slam
Sunday, June 21 2 – 4 p.m. NBCSN FIVB St. Petersburg Grand Slam
Sunday, June 21 4 – 6 p.m. NBC FIVB St. Petersburg Grand Slam
Sunday, July 19 1:30 – 3 p.m. NBC AVP New York City Open
Sunday, August 9 4:30 – 6 p.m. NBC AVP Seattle Open
Sunday, August 16 4:30 – 6 p.m. NBC AVP Manhattan Beach Open
Sunday, August 30 4:30 – 6 p.m. NBC AVP Chicago Open
Sunday, September 6 7 – 9 p.m. NBCSN AVP Cincinnati Open
Sunday, September 13 3 – 4:30 p.m. NBCSN AVP Huntington Beach Open
* – Coverage will air at 7 pm ET if NHL Playoffs coverage is not necessary.
As announced in April, the AVP and NBC Sports Group’s new partnership is the most comprehensive media partnership in Tour history. It returns the country’s premier professional beach volleyball tour, entering its 33rd year, to the network that first televised the AVP 25 years ago, and calls for 17.5 hours of coverage in 2015, 10 on NBC and 7.5 on NBCSN, plus live streaming on NBC Sports Live Extra.
Coverage will include the men’s and women’s finals of all seven regular-season tournaments. In addition, NBC and NBCSN will feature the finals and early-round coverage of an AVP-run tournament on the international FIVB (Federation International de Volleyball) World Tour within the United States. Encore presentations of select telecasts will air on Universal Sports Network.
Marlowe, a veteran of four consecutive Olympic telecasts on NBC, called play-by-play for NBC’s coverage of beach volleyball at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games and at every major volleyball event since 1981 – including the AVP Tour when it was last televised on NBC. A talented indoor and beach player, Marlowe won eight tournaments on the sand, including two prestigious AVP Manhattan Beach Opens, and captained the gold medal-winning United States Olympic Volleyball team in 1984.
Two-time Olympian Blanton won beach volleyball gold at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney with partner Eric Fonoimoana and is one of the most decorated players in AVP Tour history.
Wong made his pro beach volleyball debut on the AVP Tour in 1995. He represented the U.S. at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and notched seven career victories on the AVP before retiring from competition in 2009. In 2012, he served as NBC’s beach volleyball analyst, alongside Marlowe, at the Summer Games in London.
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–