ESPN ACQUIRES B.A.S.S., WORLD'S LARGEST FISHING
ESPN, Inc. has acquired the business and assets of B.A.S.S., Inc., the
largest fishing organization in the world with more than 600,000 members and
a diversified array of businesses highlighted by BASSMASTER Magazine, the
BASSMASTER Tournament Trail and BASS Masters Classic, which are airing on
ESPN2. The announcement was made jointly by ESPN President George
Bodenheimer and Helen Sevier, B.A.S.S. President and Chief Executive
Like ESPN, B.A.S.S. is a leader in a variety of businesses and media,
including magazine publishing, event management, merchandising, television
distribution and the Internet. Among B.A.S.S.ıs many initiatives are
CastingKids, which encourages youth participation in fishing by offering
prizes and scholarships. B.A.S.S. also encourages environmental and
conservation efforts. Based in Montgomery, Ala., B.A.S.S. was established
in 1967 and the company is currently affiliated with more than 2,800
chapters in 47 states and five foreign countries.
"ESPN and B.A.S.S. are two great brands with compatible assets and a
shared love of the fishing and outdoor genre," said Bodenheimer. "Our goal
is to benefit B.A.S.S.ıs large and loyal following by using our combined
expertise and multi-media platforms. This acquisition, together with our
expanding commitment to outdoor programming and the Great Outdoor Games,
could serve as the foundation for the launch of a dedicated ESPN outdoors
Said Sevier, who will continue to oversee B.A.S.S., "This is very
exciting for B.A.S.S., our membership and our sport. Our relationship with
ESPN began to flourish since last Julyıs announcement that ESPN2 would
televise our events. We are thrilled to team with an organization such as
ESPN that has extensive multi-media resources, enormous promotional power
and a track record for growing properties."
ESPN has a long history with outdoor programming; The Fishinı Hole
joined ESPN in 1980 and is the networkıs second-longest running program,
after SportsCenter. Outdoor programming has been a weekend morning staple
since the mid-1980s, and ESPN2, now seen in nearly 76 million homes,
televises outdoor programming - ESPN Outdoors - every Saturday and Sunday
morning, as well as on weekday afternoons. The company launched the ESPN
Great Outdoor Games last July, which were well received by spectators,
competitors and viewers, and will return to Lake Placid, N.Y., July 12-15,
airing on ESPN and ESPN2 July 26 - August 5. ESPN Radio has aired a
Saturday morning outdoors show since October 1998.
B.A.S.S. & ESPN
The BASSMASTER Tournament Trail, the premier series among the thousands
of B.A.S.S-sanctioned tournaments staged yearly, is featured on ESPN2. The
18-show series joined the ESPN2 lineup this year and culminates with the
BASS Masters Classic, to be held in New Orleans August 2-4. In addition,
later this year ESPN2 will also televise 13 half-hour programs from the
World Championship Fishing circuit, which is sanctioned by B.A.S.S and
which combines fishing and boat racing.
MORE ABOUT B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. is globally recognized as the leader in setting standards for
quality and professionalism in fishing.
B.A.S.S.ıs marquee series the BASSMASTER Tournament Trail features
hundreds of competitors in 20 events, including 12 invitationals, six
pro-ams, one "megabucks event," and the season-ending BASS Masters Classic.
The three-day BASS Masters Classic features 45 anglers competing for
$400,000 and attracts more than 100,000 spectators. It is held in
conjunction with the Classic Outdoor Show, a highly popular consumer trade
World Championship Fishing conducts five B.A.S.S.-sanctioned events while
five Divisional Amateur Championships lead to the Federation Championship.
In addition, more than 25,000 other local and regional tournaments are
sanctioned by B.A.S.S.
BASSMASTER Magazine published 11 times per year is the largest bass
fishing magazine in the world, with a circulation of 600,000.
B.A.S.S.ıs nationwide grass-roots efforts include seminars many focusing
on "how to" topics and education local competitions and a focus on youth
as the sportıs next generation.
B.A.S.S. membersı average income is $60,000 and 88% own at least one boat.
FISHING INDUSTRY FACTS
More than 60 million Americans fish each year (approximately 25% of all
Americans more than golf and tennis combined), and more than 30 million
are bass anglers.
Approximately 91% fish with their spouse or children and 93% practice "catch
The average B.A.S.S. member fishes more than 60 days per year.
The fishing industry generates $28 billion annually, according to the
American Sport Fishing Association.
ESPN, Inc., the Worldwide Leader in Sports, is a multimedia sports
entertainment company encompassing domestic (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic and
ESPNEWS) and international television networks, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN
The Magazine, sports-themed dining and entertainment with ESPN Zones,
interactive games and more.
Media Contacts: Dave Nagle at ESPN at (860) 766-2000
George McNeilly at B.A.S.S. at (334) 272-9530