Tuesday, August 3, 2010

ESPN Cuts Bait

The worldwide leader in sports is practicing the old angler's fish-friendly practice of catch and release.

ESPN announced today that it has "an agreement in principle" to sell BASS, LLC to a group of investors led by Don Logan, Jerry McKinnis and Jim Copeland. McKinnis, an outdoorsman, has a long history with ESPN as the host of the network’s second longest-running show, The Fishin’ Hole, which aired from 1980 until 2007, according to information provided by ESPN.

Until the deal is done, BASS will continue to be owned and operated by ESPN, which acquired it in 2001. Granted, holding it for most of a decade is a long time for catch and release, but my store of fishing word plays is somewhat limited.

BASS is the largest membership organization of bass anglers in the U.S. with more than 500,000 members, according to ESPN. It was purchased by ESPN in 2001 and includes several media platforms, including three magazines and a popular web site.

But viewers needn't fear that fishing will disappear from their television screens. As part of the deal, BASS’ core television programming assets – the Bassmaster Elite Series and Bassmaster Classic – will remain on ESPN networks, according to ESPN.

Maybe they'll even show those fins in 3D.

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