TULSA, Okla. – Major League Fishing announced that its first event, the Challenge Cup, will be offered on a seven-week, Internet-based Pay-Per-View plan beginning Feb. 13. The web-based broadcasts, called ADVANCE CAST, will be offered only on the Major League Fishing web site, www.majorleaguefishing.com, and became available for purchase on Feb. 1.
“Bass fishing on steroids, that’s what this is,” said Major League Fishing angler Skeet Reese. “You’re going to want to see these pay-per-view shows.”
The league will offer seven broadcasts, with one episode presented each week. Reese, a former Bassmaster Classic champion and Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year, said he believes the ADVANCE CAST programs will be “absolutely the best bargain I’ve ever seen in our industry.”
“During the Challenge Cup, we had some of the most intense competition I’ve ever experienced. It was, in many ways, the most pressure I’ve ever felt,"
Reese said. "And now the public is going to get to an opportunity to get right in the middle of that competition.”
Angler Mike Iaconelli said that viewers will see pro fishing through “a completely different lens” on the ADVANCE CAST presentations.
“On these pay-per-view shows, I assure you that Major League Fishing will let you see what it was like when 24 of the greatest anglers in the world tried to find fish with no practice before the event started and very little time to find fish," Iaconelli said. "I believe every angler that competed will tell you we’ve never been through anything like it. It was gut-wrenching. I can’t wait to see the broadcasts.”
The ADVANCE CAST total-event BassPass, a package of seven broadcasts, will cost $17.94, with individual episodes available for $2.99 each. (The seven-event BassPass package features a “free” week.) Major League Commissioner Don Rucks said that each ADVANCE CAST show will offer many attractions, including:
•More than twice the coverage than what will be televised on Outdoor Channel
•Commentary from anglers during competition about how they searched for, found and caught fish
•Unedited anglers’ reactions to their own frustrations and successes, as well as reactions to other competitor activity
“I’ve been involved in competitive bass fishing for more than three decades, and I can honestly say that I’ve never been so excited about an event or a broadcast," said Rucks, a former vice president and general manager of BASS and ESPN Outdoors. "You’ll see the strategies, the struggles and the successes of the best anglers in the world.
“On the Advance Cast shows you’ll see great anglers who have one day to both find bass and catch as many as they can. If you watch these broadcasts, I assure you that you will get an education on finding and catching fish, and you’ll see a lot of fireworks that came from the intense competition. Every angler had a leader board in the boat with them, so they knew where they stood at all times. That added a whole new dimension.”
The Challenge Cup, held Nov. 6-11 on Lake Amistad, included 24 of the world’s best-known competitors and utilized an innovative, angler-created format. The anglers were not allowed to practice before the event, could not compete with pre-determined GPS waypoints and were limited to fishing on designated sections of the lake that were disclosed to them less than 12 hours before their competition rounds began. Each day’s action served as an elimination round.
The anglers’ boats were equipped with real-time leaderboards. Boat judges accompanied all anglers who administered penalties and scored every legal fish as soon as they were caught. After the weight of each catch was recorded, bass were released back into the lake.
The Challenge Cup included six consecutive days of competition. Round 1 took place during the first three days, with eight anglers competing each day. The top four anglers from each day advanced to the next round. Round 2 was comprised of the 12 advancing anglers. During Round 2, six anglers competed on the first day, the remaining six the next day. Two anglers advanced each competitive day of Round 2, setting up a Championship Final Round featuring the top four anglers.
The ADVANCE CAST that begins on Feb. 13 will feature the first day of competition. Each subsequent week will offer the next consecutive day of competition. The seventh ADVANCE CAST broadcast will be a wrap-up show that features in-depth, on-the-water segment with the winners from each round and the Challenge Cup champion.
To find out more information and order ADVANCE CAST, please visit www.majorleaguefishing.com.