Fishing & Boating News

Bringing The CITGO Bassmaster Classic To Viewers At Home Television, Other ESPN Media Platforms Keep BASS Fans in Middle of Action


(Feb. 21, 2006 - Celebration, FL.) While thousands of fishing fans are coming to Central Florida this week for the CITGO Bassmaster Classic, thousands more will be watching the competition from home.

To relay all of the excitement and action, ESPN is putting an enormous amount of resources behind bass fishing's most major event, rivaling its approach to the Kentucky Derby or Major League Baseball. A staff of more than 250 and about 25 cameras will be used to cover the 51 anglers fishing on Lake Tohopekaliga, as well as all of the events surrounding the daily weigh-ins and Classic ESPN Outdoors Expo presented by Under Armour at the Orange County Convention Center.

The manpower makes all of the action up close and personal for fans. "This is probably the most aggressive plan that we've ever had," said Jill Frederickson, ESPN's coordinating producer for the Classic.

Included is live tournament coverage Saturday and Sunday morning, with camera boats following the anglers and on-the-water reporters breaking the big news of the day. Also, the BASS and ESPN crews will build a BassCenter set for hosts John Kernan and Byron Velvick at Kissimmee Lakefront Park, as well as the mammoth weigh-in stage at the Orange County Convention Center. But the nearly 15 hours of live and nearly live television coverage on ESPN and ESPN2 is just the beginning.

Bassmaster Classic coverage will extend into ESPNEWS, BASS INSIDER at the Bassmaster website and Mobile ESPN, the sports giant's new mobile phone service provider.

"We've got a lot of different platforms involved in the coverage," said Julie Sobieski, ESPN senior director of programming and acquisitions. "We will again have extensive television coverage and when we're not on the air, we encourage our viewers to go on-line for information and updates."

The BASS INSIDER section of the Bassmaster website will have the weigh-ins in their entirety available, courtesy of ESPN360 technology. Mobile ESPN will send content to its users, including an interview with the Classic champion. Also, ESPNEWS will give its viewers reports and interviews with Classic contenders including Kevin VanDam, Michael Iaconelli and Ish Monroe.

Although this is Frederickson's third Classic, she said each event is a new adventure for the producers and crew.

"It's almost like starting from scratch because the location changes each year," she said. "It's a completely different dynamic covering a chain of four lakes than covering three rivers, like the Classic last year in Pittsburgh. It's not like a football field or basketball game."

2006 CITGO BASSMASTER CLASSIC
PROGRAM SCHEDULE

Air Date/Time Network Production Elements
Friday, Feb. 24 7:30 - 9 p.m. ESPN2 Weigh-In, Day 1,
Orange County Convention Center
Saturday, Feb. 25 7 - 8 a.m. ESPN2 Live BassCenter,
Kissimmee Lakefront Park
Saturday, Feb. 25 8 - 11 a.m. ESPN2 Live Tournament Coverage
Saturday, Feb. 25 11 - 11:30 a.m. ESPN2 Live BassCenter,
Kissimmee Lakefront Park
Saturday, Feb. 25 4:30 - 6 p.m. ESPN Weigh-In, Day 2,
Orange County Convention Center
Sunday, Feb. 26 7- 8 a.m. ESPN2 Live BassCenter,
Kissimmee Lakefront Park
Sunday, Feb. 26 8- 10:30 a.m. ESPN2 Live Tournament Coverage
Sunday, Feb. 26 5:30 - 7 p.m ESPN Weigh-In, Day 3,
Orange County Convention Center

BASS is the worldwide authority on bass fishing, sanctioning more than 20,000 events through the BASS Federation annually. Guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans, BASS sets the standard for credibility, professionalism, sportsmanship and conservation, as it has for nearly 40 years.

BASS stages bass fishing tournaments for every skill level and culminates with the CITGO Bassmaster Classic. Through its clubs, youth programs, aquatic resource advocacy, magazine publishing and multimedia platforms, BASS offers the industry's widest array of services and support to its nearly 550,000 members. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.

To join BASS, call 1-877-BASS-USA