Major League Fishing will take another first-time-ever step on Saturday when Outdoor Channel broadcasts a two-hour episode of the league’s General Tire Summit Cup Championship Round.
Outdoor Channel, America’s Leader In Outdoor TV, will air the Alpena, Michigan-based event at 2 p.m., an hour earlier than the network’s traditional starting time for new rounds of competition.
This is Outdoor Channel’s first-ever, two-hour special of a competitive fishing show.
“Outdoor Channel has made a tremendous commitment to Major League Fishing and our fans,” said Major League Fishing General Manager Jim Wilburn.
“The two-hour televised event is monumental for the sport of tournament bass fishing. It is a huge deal, and we are proud to present the in-depth coverage in a way that has never before been seen on television.”
“We’re proud to close the fourth season of our popular fishing series, ‘Jack Link’s Major League Fishing,’ with a riveting two-hour special that follows six pro-anglers’ fight to the finish,” said Jeffrey Wayne, Executive Vice President of Programming at Outdoor Channel. “It’s been two and a half years since we joined forces with Major League Fishing to co-create a new sports organization that highlights the sport of competitive bass fishing. Since then, we’ve generated greater awareness and appreciation for the sport, the professional anglers involved and the beautiful locales we’ve visited along the way.”
The two-hour show will feature action from Grand Lake, a popular, 5,700-acre lake roughly 20 miles north of Alpena that is heavily populated by smallmouth bass. Anglers competing in the Championship Round are: Brent Erhler, Shaw Grigsby, Greg Hackney, Tim Horton, Aaron Martens and Kevin VanDam.
Major League Fishing Commissioner Don Rucks describes Outdoor Channel’s two-hour broadcast as “another first-ever step for Major League Fishing.”
“We’ve taken a lot of really important, first-ever steps. Our anglers are competing on a televised show with leader boards in their boats; they get penalties when they step over the line; they fish without practice and preparation. These are all ‘first-evers,’” Rucks said.
“And this is another big, new step for Major League Fishing.”
Rucks likened the two-hour broadcast to the two-hours-plus versions of league events that are available on the Internet, pay-per-view Extended Cast broadcasts. (Extended Cast shows can be found at www.majorleaguefishing.com.)
“Major League Fishing fans that see Extended Cast tell us how much they like the extra coverage. They talk about how in-depth and entertaining the coverage is, because you see and hear more of what they anglers are thinking while they compete,” Rucks said.
“This is what viewers are going to see on the two-hour Outdoor Channel special: more time and deeper coverage.”
Major League Fishing – a partnership involving the world’s top anglers and Outdoor Channel – offers intense bass fishing events designed to bring high-level challenges to 24 competitors. The six-day General Tire Summit Cup, filmed in and around the Northern Michigan City of Alpena, was transformed into an action-packed TV series.
The Championship Round action offers coverage on the third Alpena-area lake. Round 1 took place on Hubbard Lake, south of Alpena. Round 2 was on Long Lake, which (similar to Grand Lake) is north of Alpena.
“A lot of people not from here seem to think that Michigan lakes are all alike, but that’s not the case,” said Major League Fishing angler Kevin VanDam. “We’ve gotten a completely different feel from Hubbard to Long, and Grand Lake is going to be something entirely different.”
Major League Fishing angler Boyd Duckett, who was eliminated during the second round of competition, said he is tremendously pleased that Outdoor Channel has chosen to air a two-hour presentation of the Summit Cup championship.
“We’re growing at Major League Fishing. Every new step is exciting,” Duckett said. “And I promise you that having a two-hour competition round on television is a big step for us and big for our sport.”