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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

Costa Mesa, Calif. – May 22, 2015 – The AVP (Association of Volleyball Professionals) Pro Beach Volleyball Tour and NBC Sports Group will present the AVP New Orleans Open, the first AVP Tour telecast of the 2015 season, this Tuesday Night at Midnight EST 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 DayLane 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 (analyst), 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

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 the FIVB St. Petersburg Open in June, 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.

For more information on the AVP New Orleans Open and the 2015 AVP Tour, visit: www.avp.com.

About the AVP

Established in 1983, the AVP (Association of Volleyball Professionals) produces, markets and distributes volleyball events worldwide, including the popular AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour. While promoting family-oriented events and supporting a healthy lifestyle, the AVP is best known for its world-class athletes, who have won numerous Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in the Olympic games. The AVP headquarters are in Costa Mesa, Calif.

About NBC Sports Group

When the Comcast-NBCUniversal transaction was completed in January 2011, the sports assets of the two companies combined to form NBC Sports Group, which serves sports fans 24/7 with premier live events, insightful studio shows, and compelling original programming. The sports media company consists of a unique array of sports assets, including NBC Sports, NBC Olympics, NBCSN (NBC Sports Network), Golf Channel, 10 NBC Sports Regional Networks, NBC Sports Radio and NBC Sports Digital. NBC Sports Group possesses an unparalleled collection of television rights agreements, partnering with some of the most prestigious sports properties in the world: the International Olympic Committee and United States Olympic Committee, the NFL, NHL, NASCAR, PGA TOUR, PGA of America, Churchill Downs, Premier League, Tour de France, French Open, Formula One, IndyCar and many more.

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