CELEBRATION, Fla. With the same aggressive, comprehensive full-court press it applies to other sports, ESPN will again bring its famous big-league coverage to the 37th annual Bassmaster Classic Feb. 23-25.
Fishing fans will be able to stay in the middle of the action, thanks to the extensive television coverage, as well other ESPN media platforms.
When it purchased BASS nearly six years ago, ESPN changed the way professional fishing's biggest event was covered on television. And this year, ESPN2 will be the home for Bassmaster Classic coverage totaling 10 1/2 hours over the three competition days. ESPN2 reaches more than 91 million households, virtually mirroring the reach of ESPN.
"We are excited that ESPN2 will serve as the home for 2007 Bassmaster Classic coverage," said Todd Myers, director of programming for ESPN Outdoors. "We plan to bring viewers more on-the-water action than ever before."
BASS fans have certainly responded to ESPN's extensive television coverage of the marquee event.
Over three days and five telecasts of the 2006 Classic, more than 9.5 million viewers tuned in to the programming. The 2006 Classic was the highest-rated Classic in ESPN2's history of airing the tournament.
ESPN2 outdoors personality Tommy Sanders will anchor the presentations while Mark Zona will serve as analyst. The duo can be seen on The Bassmasters Saturdays at 9 a.m. ET on ESPN2. Also on board is Bassmaster Elite Series angler Byron Velvick and Mary Delgado, who has competed as a co-angler in 2006 Elite Series events and is also Velvick's fiancé. The pair met on ABC's The Bachelor.
For fishing fans who wish to monitor the Classic through the comfort of their keyboard, www.ESPNOutdoors.com will provide in-depth coverage from Classic take-off to weigh-in. Coverage includes:
• Live video
• Realtime Leaderboard
• Exclusive photo galleries
• Analyst commentary and stories from the front lines
For even more in-depth coverage, members of BASS Insider can witness the raw and uncut video blog and diary of animated Classic contender Gerald Swindle. Also on BASS Insider, members can go behind the scenes of the weigh-in for reports from anglers before they weigh-in their catches and pose questions to Classic contenders while they are competing in the tournament. Go to www.BASSInsider.com for more information and to sign up.
Fans have responded to the increased, exclusive Internet coverage. ESPN's online coverage of the Bassmaster Classic in 2006 brought in record traffic for the event, at over 4 million page views for the week.
The 2007 Bassmaster Classic will be hosted by the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau.
2007 BASSMASTER CLASSIC ON ESPN2
Saturday (Feb. 24)
7 - 8:30 a.m. - Bassmaster Classic Day 1
8:30 - 10 a.m. - Live from Birmingham
10:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m. - Bassmaster Classic Day 2
Sunday (Feb. 25)
6:30 - 8:30 a.m. - Bassmaster Classic Day 2
8:30 – 10 a.m. - Live from Birmingham
10 p.m. – 12 a.m. - Bassmaster Classic Day 3