MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING

DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

THE BATTLE FOR LIVE VIEWERS IN 2019

Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 11/12/2018

Story by Matt Pangrac

Moore, OK – In 2019, fans of professional bass fishing will have unprecedented access when it comes to watching their favorite anglers compete at the highest level.  

The BASS ZONE has sifted through the press releases and announced plans from all three major tournament organizations (B.A.S.S., FLW, and MLF) to try and make sense of how the explosion in live coverage will impact the game in 2019.   

2019 FLW TOUR
The 2019 FLW Tour will feature seven stops in 2019 with the season starting on Sam Rayburn Reservoir on January 10th, 2019.   In an October 29th article on BassZone.com, FLW’s Director of Public Relations, Joe Opager, explained the following regarding the FLW Live coverage for the upcoming season:

“FLW Live at the Tour level will remain the same – it will still be Saturday and Sunday of FLW Tour events.  The FLW Live coverage has grown in leaps and bounds over the past two years.  

“We are expanding the FLW Live coverage, but it’s going to be in other ways. “There’s going to be FLW Live at all of FLW’s championship events including the YETI College Fishing National Championship, the T-H Marine BFL All-American, and the Costa Series Championship”

For the 2019 FLW Tour, there will be a total of 14 days of FLW Live, as well as three days of FLW Live for the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Hamilton in August, bringing the total of FLW Live days to 17.

Note: Additional FLW Live days for the YETI College Fishing National Championship, the T-H Marine BFL All-American, and the Costa Series Championship have not been factored into this number.

2019 BASSMASTER ELITE SERIES
The 2019 Bassmaster Elite Series will feature nine regular season stops (including Texas Fest on Lake Fork). On September 21st, a press release on bassmaster.com explained the following regarding the Bassmaster LIVE coverage for the upcoming season:

“Starting with the 2019 season, the incredibly popular Bassmaster LIVE show on Bassmaster.com, which has generated over 2.5 million video views and 59 million minutes of content consumed by fans, will be produced all four days of Elite Series events. Plus, there will be live-streaming cameras on every boat on semi-final Saturday, as well as Bassmaster LIVE cameras on every angler for Championship Sunday.”

For the 2019 Bassmaster Elite Series, there will be a total of 36 days of Bassmaster LIVE, as well as three days of Bassmaster LIVE for the Bassmaster Classic on the Tennessee River in March.  The Angler Of the Year Championship and Classic Bracket (which has yet to be announced) will include approximately another six days of Bassmaster LIVE coverage, bringing the total of Bassmaster LIVE days to 45.

2019 MAJOR LEAGUE FISHING BASS PRO TOUR
The 2019 Bass Pro Tour will feature eight stops in 2019.  The locations of the Tour stops have not been released (as of November 11th), but the first Tour stop of 2019 will take place from January 29th through February 3rd.  On November 7th, a “Frequently Asked Questions” article on majorleaguefishing.com explained the following regarding the BPT live-streaming coverage for the upcoming season:  

“All six days of every Bass Pro Tour regular-season event (plus the championship) will be live-streamed on the Major League Fishing website and app, with an estimated 350 hours of live-streamed content available throughout the season. In addition to on-the-water live streams, a Bass Pro Tour “results show” will be produced and live-streamed after each day’s competition.”

For the 2019 BPT, there will be total of 48 days of live-streaming, as well as five days of live-streaming for the BPT Championship (Redcrest), bringing the total number of live-streamed BPT days to 53.  

Here’s a breakdown of the live-stream numbers for each tour in 2019:
FLW Tour and Forrest Wood Cup – 17 days
Bassmaster Elite Series, Bassmaster Classic, AOY Championship, Classic bracket – 45 days
Major League Fishing BPT, Redcrest – 53 days

Here’s where things get interesting.  For the past several years, a hot topic of discussion has been the overlapping tournament schedules between the Bassmaster Elite Series and the FLW Tour, causing hard-core fishing fans to toggle between two different live-streams at the same time.  

For example:  This past season on July 1st, bass fishing fans had to decide between watching Chad Grigsby shatter smallmouth records on Lake St. Clair on FLW Live, or watch Elite Series anglers battle it out on Bassmaster LIVE on Lake Oahe in South Dakota.   
 
With the addition of the Bass Pro Tour in 2019, the live-stream battle will undoubtedly reach new heights.  

In total, there will be 29 professional bass fishing tournaments live-streamed in 2019 between the FLW Tour, Bassmaster Elite Series, and Bass Pro Tour.  That all adds up to a total of at least 115 days this upcoming year where there will be live-streaming of professional bass fishing available to the general public.  
 
Here’s a layout of the 2019 schedule featuring dates for all three tours with the overlapping tournaments highlighted in the red boxes:  


 
Out of the 29 tournaments that will be live-streamed between the three tours, just 11 of them will be “stand alone” events where there is not another professional tournament taking place at the same time.  Out of those 11 tournaments, four of them are championship events (Bassmaster Classic, Forrest Wood Cup, AOY Championship, Classic Bracket).  

The 2019 FLW Tour will have two regular season events where there is not an Elite Series or BPT taking place at the same time (Sam Rayburn and Lake Seminole).

The 2019 Elite Series will have three regular season events where there is not an FLW Tour or BPT taking place at the same time (Lake Hartwell, Guntersville and St. Lawrence River).

The 2019 BPT will have two regular season events where there is not an FLW Tour or Elite Series taking place at the same time.

On three different occasions, the Elite Series and FLW Tour will have events taking place at the same time.  

On five different occasions, the Elite Series and BPT will have events taking place at the same time.

On four different occasions, the BPT and FLW Tour will have events taking place at the same time.  

In total, there will be two weeks where all three tours will have events taking place at the same time.  

Based on the announced live-streaming schedules for each of the three tours, the FLW Tour (including the Cup) will have seven “stand-alone” days of FLW Live coverage, the Elite Series (including the Classic, AOY Championship, and Classic Bracket) will have 25 “stand-alone” days of Bassmaster LIVE coverage, and the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour (including Redcrest) will have 26 “stand-alone” days of live coverage.