Each year around Bassmaster Classic time, we get the question, "Why isn't the Classic live on TV?" over and over again.
It is because unlike the Olympics or a baseball game or a football game, all which traditionally air live, the Bassmaster Classic takes place over tens of thousands of acres — not in a contained arena, on a diamond or across a 100-yard patch of grass.
"We've got 300 hours of footage from our normal on-the water cameras," said Mike McKinnis, the VP and executive producer of JM Associates, which produces coverage of The Bassmasters.
"That doesn't even include the potentially hundreds of hours of footage from the GoPros we're using this year.
"We're condensing more than 500 hours of coverage into a five-hour television show," continued McKinnis, "with a small team of 12 editors."
Fans can watch the weigh-ins live every day on Bassmaster.com, beginning around 3:30 p.m. CT, Feb. 21-23, and snippets of fish catches — and fish misses — air during the weigh-ins for spectators to see. But, there is so much more.
"Have a one-week turnaround gives us time to go through all those hours of coverage so we don't miss anything," said McKinnis. "That way, we can give our fans the very best content."
Watch the 2014 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by Diet Mountain Dew and GoPro on ESPN2 beginning March 1. Here's the schedule, all times ET:
Day One: Saturday, March 1, 10-11 a.m. (re-air Sunday, March 2, 6-7 a.m.)
Day Two: Sunday, March 2, 7-9 a.m. (re-air Sunday, March 9, 5-7 a.m.)
Day Three: Sunday, March 2, 8-10 p.m. (re-air Sunday, March 9, 7-9 a.m.)
Winner's Circle: Saturday, March 15, 8-9 a.m. (re-air Sunday, March 23, 8-9 a.m.)