Anna Leigh Waters, Michelle McMahon and Catherine Parenteau doing a post-match interview.
Anna Leigh Waters, Michelle McMahon and Catherine Parenteau at the CIBC Texas Open powered by TIXR. PPA Tour

FOX extending CIBC Texas Open broadcast signifies major growth of pickleball on TV

DALLAS, TX – This may not seem like a big deal to the outside world, but this is a huge deal in the picklesphere.

This past Sunday, FOX provided coverage of the CIBC Texas Open powered by TIXR from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST to showcase the mixed doubles final and the women’s doubles final to a national audience.

Fans watched Anna Leigh Waters and Ben Johns battle Jorja and JW Johnson, before Waters and Catherine Parenteau went head-to-head with Lucy Kovalova and Callie Smith.

And while there is a broadcast schedule, oftentimes the play moves faster or slower than anticipated. Case in point, we’ve all been involved in a back-and-forth doubles match where the scoreline has been stuck for like 20 minutes for some reason.

The FOX broadcast was set to conclude at 4:30 p.m., but the action was so tight that the matches went longer than expected.

Consequently, 45 additional minutes of programming was alotted so that viewers could enjoy the conclusion of the women’s doubles match.

That's a major move. 

It’s a testament to the remarkable popularity of America’s fastest-growing sport. 

Even though pickleball has a lot of harsh critics, between turf wars with tennis players and old-school players who believe the sport is getting too fast, this is clear and convincing proof that people want to watch pro pickleball on TV

This is an even bigger victory for the players, of course, whose skill and athleticism deserves to be seen by as many viewers as possible.

It's just the beginning.