BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Tens of thousands of fishing fans crowded the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tenn., March 15-17 to watch some of the world’s best bass anglers weigh in their catches from the Tennessee River. They were part of a record-setting total attendance of 153,809 reported for the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.
Those who couldn’t attend in person — as well as those who want to relive the excitement of one of the best Classics ever — can tune in to the first episode of a three-part series of Bassmaster TV shows devoted to the world championship.
“The Bassmaster Classic: Day 1” will air beginning at 8 a.m. (ET) on ESPN2. The show sets the stage for a dramatic three-day competition as hometown favorite Ott DeFoe weighs in five big bass totaling 20 pounds and takes a commanding lead.
“The challenge in covering an event like the Classic, which has already been watched on Bassmaster LIVE or followed on Bassmaster.com and other media by millions of people, is making it fresh and compelling,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO. “Mike McKinnis and the talented team at JM Outdoors have done that this year. They have produced a series of shows worthy of what everyone is saying was one of the best Bassmaster Classics in the event’s 49-year history.”
“With 24 hours of competition and a half-dozen hours of incredible LIVE weigh-ins, only the best of the best moments will be seen in the five hours of Bassmaster Classic coverage,” said McKinnis, vice president of media content of JM Associates and producer of Bassmaster LIVE and The Bassmasters. “Bassmaster Classic Champion Ott DeFoe will also be in studio to break down how he won the 49th Bassmaster Classic. Diehard bass anglers won’t want to miss that.”
Coverage of Day 2 of the Classic, a two-hour show, will begin at 11 a.m. Sunday, April 7, and the Championship Sunday episode, also two hours, will air at 11 a.m. Sunday, April 14, both on ESPN2. These and other Bassmaster TV episodes will be reaired on ESPN2 and ESPN Classic beginning in the summer, as well as on the Pursuit Channel.
This year marks the 20th consecutive Bassmaster Classic to be aired on ESPN networks.
The Knoxville Classic set numerous attendance records, including 16,300 showing up at the early morning takeoffs at Volunteer Landing, 92,819 visitors to the Classic Outdoors Expo presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, and 18,500 participants in Get Hooked on Fishing presented by Toyota, Shakespeare and Takemefishing.org.
The Bassmasters TV Shows
(All times Eastern. For a full TV schedule, visit Bassmaster.com/television, or check local listings.)
ESPN2 Sun 3/31/2019 8:00 AM 2019 Bassmaster Classic Day 1
ESPN2 Sun 4/7/2019 11:00 AM 2019 Bassmaster Classic Day 2
ESPN2 Sun 4/14/2019 11:00 AM 2019 Bassmaster Classic Championship
ESPN2 Sun 4/21/2019 11:00 AM Bassmaster Elite Series Winning Ways #1