Add professional beach volleyball to the list of sports returning to the field and to television.
The Association of Volleyball Professionals said it will replace its suspended 2020 season with a Champions Cup Series that will be televised by Amazon Prime Video, NBC and NBCSN over the weekends of July 18-19, July 25-26 and Aug.1-2.
“We’re looking forward to showcasing the AVP and the new Champions Cup Series on NBC and NBCSN this summer,” Gary Quinn, VP, programming & owned properties, NBC Sports said. “It’s exciting to see the best teams and best players back on the sand, and providing fans with the highest-level of competition in beach volleyball.”
The COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the NBA and NHL seasons, postponed the start of baseball season, pushed the Olympics back to 2021 and cancelled the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament and other college sports.
Losing sports has cost TV networks ratings and ad revenues.
Many sports leagues have started to institute plans to return to play, notably the PGA Tour coming back last weekend and horse racing with the Belmont Stakes being run this weekend.
The AVP events will be held without fans in attendance. Each event will have a $200,000 purse, plus a $100,000 bonus poop for the tests with the top finishes.
Amazon Prime Video will stream matches throughout the entire series.
NBC will air an early-round men’s match on July 18 and the women’s final on July 19.
NBCSN will carry one final match in the second and third weekend that will be simulcast by Amazon.
“Since the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have stayed committed to our athletes, fans and partners to find a safe and responsible way for our sport to continue in 2020,” said Donald Sun, owner/CEO of the AVP. “The AVP Champions Cup Series allows us to keep our footprint small, regulate safety protocols and still provide top-flight beach volleyball competition for fans to watch via our long-standing partners NBC and Amazon Prime Video.”
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