Pro Bowling’s Turnaround

Wired 12.09: Kingpin

Rob Glaser and his geek pals from Microsoft wanted to pull pro bowling out of the gutter. So they bought the whole damn league. […] TV ratings are climbing; 775,000 households watched pro bowling on ESPN last year, up 25 percent from two seasons ago. Viewership among 18- to 34-year-old males – the demo that makes or breaks most pro sports – is up 80 percent-plus. More people now watch the PBA than the National Hockey League.

The article is filled with great tidbits about the PBA and its turnaround. There’s even a documentary film about it that might find its way to DVD next year.

My winter league starts back up September 13th.

3 thoughts on “Pro Bowling’s Turnaround

  1. I saw the documentary, A LEAGUE OF ORDINARY GENTLEMEN, at a film festival earlier this year. It’s veryy entertaining and suprisingly thorough, covering the history of pro bowling as well as its current state. It even builds to a big match, in the mode of the excellent recent spelling bee doc SPELLBOUND, though on the whole it’s not as good as that film (or HOOP DREAMS, or WHEN WE WERE KINGS, or other classic sports docs). Still, it’s a diverting 100 minutes, and quite informative.

  2. Excellent. Thanks for the mini-review, Noel.

    I need to get to SPELLBOUND one of these days. . . And I’m looking forward to the SCRABBLE documentary, too, eventually.

  3. The Scrabble doc, WORD WARS, is entertaining too, though it tries overhard to make the whole idea of Scrabble tournaments and tournament players seem laughably eccentric. I mean, it is weird, but not that weird.

    It’s also easily the most profane of this trio … a lot of foul mouths on those Scrabble guys.

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