FOX Sports expands Bassmaster event coverage amid booming interest

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Shane Durrance

Nearly 2 million viewers watched live coverage of Hank Cherry's historic win in the 2021 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk on the FOX broadcast network and FS1.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Amid healthy ratings and booming interest in Bassmaster Elite Series live coverage on FS1, B.A.S.S. and FOX Sports have expanded their planned broadcasts to include three Basspro.com Bassmaster Opens Series tournaments and the revived Yamaha Bassmaster Redfish Cup Championship presented by Skeeter.

Since starting the 2021 Bassmaster Elite Series season on the FOX Sports networks, more than 4.5 million viewers have tuned-in for tournament action. Through the first seven events of the Elite Series season, fans have watched and streamed a staggering 358.5 million minutes of Bassmaster LIVE and weigh-in coverage, while also breaking single-day Elite event records for visits and video views.

“Participation in fishing is at an all-time high and that’s reflected in the huge appetite we’re seeing for live fishing,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. “Our partnership with FOX Sports has allowed us to showcase the highest level of bass fishing in the Bassmaster Elite Series. Now we are thrilled to highlight the stars of the future with Opens coverage as well as exciting saltwater fishing!”

The announcement of additional programming comes just weeks after the iconic Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk reeled in nearly 2 million viewers to the FOX broadcast network and FS1 for eight hours of live coverage during the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing. The partnership has allowed B.A.S.S. to continue reaching new audiences, and almost 1.3 million people who watched Saturday Bassmaster LIVE coverage on FOX had not previously watched an Elite Series event on FS1.

Elite Series invitations as well as the Falcon Rods Angler of the Year title will be on the line when FS1 broadcasts live coverage of Championship Saturday from the divisional finals of the Bassmaster Opens Series. Fans can catch on-the-water action Sept. 11 at St. Lawrence River/1000 Islands in Clayton, N.Y. (Northern Division), Sept. 25 at Lake Norman in Charlotte, N.C. (Southern Division), and Oct. 23 at Grand Lake in Grove, Okla. (Central Division).

After a 12-year hiatus, the Yamaha Bassmaster Redfish Cup Championship presented by Skeeter will be held Nov. 12-14 in Port Aransas, Texas. FS1 will air seven hours of action across Nov. 13-14 as 10 teams target this powerful predator fish that reside in brackish water marshes and often reach weights of more than 40 pounds.

“With two Elite Series events to go in 2021, it continues to be a great first year with Bassmaster,” said Bill Wanger, FOX Sports EVP, Head of Programming & Scheduling. “We are excited to expand our programming and start to build on that momentum.”

For a full schedule of upcoming Bassmaster event coverage on the FOX Sports networks, visit Bassmaster.com/tv-schedule.