PAX TV JOINS OPERATION BASS AS NEW BROADCAST PARTNER
PAX Sets New Standard With Live Broadcasts Of Bass Fishing Tournaments
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., (Aug. 16, 2001) - PAX TV, the family entertainment
broadcast network, and Operation Bass Inc., the world's largest bass fishing
tournament organization, have announced a historic broadcasting partnership
that will bring live coverage of a competitive bass fishing series to
network television for the first time.
The announcement marks yet another milestone development for competitive
bass fishing since the 1996 inception of the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, the world's
most lucrative fishing series.
The landmark PAX TV, Wal-Mart FLW Tour broadcast agreement includes - for
the first time in history - live broadcasts of each Wal-Mart FLW Tour
tournament and an additional 17 weeks of live programming in a
magazine-style format with segments covering outdoor sporting news, guest
appearances by fishing legends, angler profiles and news from the fishing
world. The series will include 27 hours of programming, 24 of which will be
live. The program will continue to build on the unique weigh-in format
pioneered by the tour and will feature a consistent, guaranteed airing at 3
p.m. (EST) on Saturdays over the entire 27-week schedule.
In addition to a 30 percent increase in televised hours and heavy
promotional schedule throughout the 2002 season, the Wal-Mart FLW Tour
program will benefit from prominent display and promotion on the PAX TV Web
site located at www.pax.tv. The PAX, Wal-Mart FLW Tour television broadcast
and partnership will also be promoted throughout more than 2,600 Wal-Mart
JM Associates, the award-winning Little Rock, Ark.-based television
production firm will produce the Wal-Mart FLW Tour program. JM Associates
has been a pioneer in outdoor programming for 35 years and has produced the
Wal-Mart FLW program since its introduction in 1997.
Operation Bass introduced the first live network broadcast of tournament
bass fishing in 1999 with the production of the Ranger M1 Millennium event
from Cypress Gardens. The first-of-its-kind tournament was the world's most
lucrative, featuring a $3.6 million cash purse, with up to $1 million going
to the winner.
"Since we began our historic partnership with Wal-Mart, we have never
stopped seeking new opportunities to bring professional fishing into as many
homes as possible through television," said Operation Bass Chairman Irwin L.
Jacobs. "From the beginning, our goal was to build a sport that promotes an
appreciation of the great outdoors and exemplifies family togetherness and
family values. The PAX TV, Operation Bass marriage is perfect because both
companies are committed to supplying high quality, industry leading products
and services in a family-friendly manner."
PAX TV is the nation's newest broadcast network with a market penetration
rate of 84 percent. PAX reaches over 84 million households, which exceeds
any other sports programming network. In the past year, PAX experienced 27
percent growth in the key 25-54 demographic category while other networks
"Operation Bass has been a leader in pioneering new developments in
competitive fishing - from record cash purses to live television coverage of
events. We look forward to helping Operation Bass continue to elevate the
sport of competitive bass fishing and expanding the popular Wal-Mart FLW
Tour brand to reach a larger national audience than ever before," said PAX
TV President of Programming Bill Scott. "We are making a major commitment of
network time and effort to the launch of the 2002 Wal-Mart FLW Tour season
and to each broadcast. The entire PAX TV programming team is involved in
this effort. Further, for the first time in the sport's history, we will be
broadcasting 24 hours of live coverage of Wal-Mart FLW Tour tournaments and
fishing-related programming throughout the season."
PAX TV has a history of successful broadcasts of both national and
international sporting events. The network currently shares the broadcasting
rights of the Senior PGA Tour with CNBC. In 2000, PAX TV televised the
Olympic Trials for numerous sports. This year, the network expanded its
sports coverage as the sole broadcaster of the International Winter Special
The Wal-Mart FLW Tour is the flagship of Operation Bass tournament programs.
Wal-Mart became title sponsor of the tour in 1997. It was the retailer's
first national sponsorship. In 2002, Operation Bass will conduct 170 events
nationwide and award anglers up to $21 million in cash and prizes. The 2002
Wal-Mart FLW Tour continues as the most lucrative fishing series in the
world, awarding anglers more than $5 million in seven events.
Paxson Communications Corporation owns and operates the nation's largest
broadcast television station group and PAX TV, the newest broadcast
television network. PAX reaches 84 percent of U.S. television households via
nationwide broadcast television, cable and satellite distribution systems.
Through the company's strategic relationship with NBC, the two networks have
The Wal-Mart FLW Tour has one of the strongest sponsorship teams in
professional sports. Sponsors of the 2001 tour are ALPO Pet Foods,
BFGoodrich Tires, Black & Decker, Chevrolet, CITGO, Coleman, Conseco,
Energizer, EverStart Batteries, Frito-Lay, Fujifilm, Kellogg's, Land O'
Lakes, Lowrance, Mercury Marine, Minn Kota, Pepsi, Plano Tackle Systems,
Poulan, Ranger Boats, Shop-Vac, Snickers Cruncher Bar, Timex, US Bank, Visa,
Wal-Mart, Weed Eater, Wrangler and Yamaha Outboards. ACDelco spark plugs and
oil filters, David sunflower seeds, ACT II, Excalibur, Strike King, Eagle
Claw and Daiwa are associate sponsors of the 2001 tour.
For more information on PAX, visit PAX TV's website at www.pax.tv. For
information on Operation Bass and the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, visit