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Major League Fishing Announces General Tire World Championship

TULSA, Okla. (Jan. 9, 2017) – Major League Fishing (MLF) officials announce the creation of its own World Championship event, pitting 12 of the world’s top anglers against one another in televised matches to air on CBS and CBS Sports Network in 2017. The airings will mark the largest and first-ever consecutive six-week bass fishing series to run on national broadcast television, a precedent for the sport.

Each competitor wears a microphone and has a cameraman to capture every thought, emotion and action during competition. The made-for-television MLF formats puts the TV audience right there in the boats with
the anglers for every episode.

The MLF General Tire World Championship, presented by Bass Pro Shops, will match MLF’s top 12 Cup anglers against one another in an exciting new format featuring six days of competition and culminating in the crowning of a world champion.

“We are truly excited to have our General Tire brand as the title sponsor of this new championship with Major League Fishing,” said Travis Roffler, director of marketing for General Tire. “The MLF format is already such an entertaining way to watch bass fishing and now this new championship is only going to increase the level of intensity and excitement of the sport.  We can’t wait to get this kicked off and see how it plays out. It’s going to be somewhat stressful for the anglers but really fun for everyone else to watch.”

The six one-hour MLF championship episodes will begin airing Saturday, June 24, 2017, at 2 p.m. EST on CBS, which among its 200 television stations and affiliates reaches nearly every home in the United States.

“This has been a dream of mine since the beginning when conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris first asked me what we could do to bring the sport of bass fishing to a broader audience,” said Jim Wilburn, MLF general manager.

“With this new competition and the partnership with CBS, we’re finally achieving that dream and look forward to sharing the sport with an even wider audience than before. Major League Fishing is a trail blazer and this is just one more ground breaking first!”

The new MLF World Championship will air on CBS and re-air on CBS Sports Network in 2017, making it the first fishing show series to run multi-weeks on a major national network. (Click to enlarge)
“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Major League Fishing,” said Stan Lippelman, Bass Pro Shops vice president of marketing. “We have been a part of MLF since its inception as an innovative new approach to tournament fishing. Major League Fishing has breathed new life into competitive fishing and has quickly built a strong following.  We are excited to partner with them on the World Championship to introduce this exciting format to an even larger national audience with CBS and CBS Sports Network.”
The 12 anglers to compete in the World Championship will be determined according to MLF anglers’ final point standings accumulated from their participation in 2016 and 2017 Cup events. The 12 championship contenders will be announced at the conclusion of the 2017 Challenge Cup in June, the last of the regular MLF events for the year.
MLF anglers, such as Edwin Evers, say every match in the MLF format is like a rollercoaster ride of emotional ups and downs, but they all like the unknown destination until it’s time to fish because it “levels the playing field.” (Click to enlarge)

MLF was developed specifically with television entertainment in mind, making it a great partner for CBS and CBS Sports Network and the national audience the new shows will reach. The broadened scope with new viewers will benefit not only the show and the anglers, many of whom will be seen by a national audience for the first time, but also the sponsors who are making the event possible.

First developed in 2011 through a partnership between Outdoor Channel and professional anglers, MLF has grown steadily since. In 2015, MLF added a second level of competition with the introduction of its Select events that doubled the scope of the program.

MLF was rated Outdoor Channel’s overall No. 1 show for first and second quarter 2016. Its sixth season looks just as promising, with the 2017 Bass Pro Shops Summit Select presented by Ferguson airing now on Outdoor Channel.

“We always get very excited to air our truly unique, one-of-a-kind, MLF events to an engaged, excited and exponentially growing fan base,” said Jim Liberatore, president and CEO of Outdoor Channel. “Fans are finding out in large numbers: if you have not seen an MLF event, you have not seen the future of bass fishing.”
For more information about MLF and its sponsors, visit www.majorleaguefishing.com.
About Major League Fishing
Developed through a joint effort between Outdoor Channel and two dozen premier bass fishing anglers in 2011, Major League Fishing brings the high-intensity sport of competitive bass fishing into America’s living rooms in the form of riveting two-hour TV episodes. Twenty-four world-class anglers are filmed over the course of a six-day event. The show captures their efforts as they utilize a demanding format that allows them to weigh all the “scorable bass” they catch. Unlike other competitive fishing events, live leaderboards in the boats allow anglers to know their standings at all times. For more information about the game, visit www.majorleaguefishing.com and follow Major League Fishing on Twitter, Instagram and on Facebook.
About General Tire
For over 100 years General Tire has offered a complete quality line of ultra-high performance, passenger, light truck, off-road and commercial tires to meet all your needs. General Tire is a proud supporter of ARCA; Best in the Desert Racing Series; Major League Fishing; FLW Fishing; King of the Cage; Lucas Oil – Off Road Racing Series, Late Model Dirt Series, Pro Pulling League, Modified Series, Drag Boat Racing Series and ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series; Expedition Overland; FreestyleMx.com Tour; Zero One Odyssey; and Spec Tire of JeepSpeed. Team GT supports athletes: CJ Hutchins, Jim Beaver, Jeff Proctor, Chase Motorsports, Doug Fortin, Eric Fitch, Jim Riley, Camburg Racing, Lee Banning Sr., Bryan Folks, Jerett Brooks, Stan Shelton, Skeet Reese, Edwin Evers, John Crews, Britt Myers and Bill McDonald.
About Continental AG
Continental develops intelligent technologies for transporting people and their goods. As a reliable partner, the international automotive supplier, tire manufacturer, and industrial partner provides sustainable, safe, comfortable, individual, and affordable solutions. In 2015, the corporation generated sales of €39.2 billion with its five divisions, Chassis & Safety, Interior, Powertrain, Tires, and ContiTech. Continental currently employs more than 218,000 people in 55 countries.
About Bass Pro Shops®
Bass Pro Shops is a leading destination retailer offering outdoor gear and apparel in an immersive setting. Founded in 1972 when avid young angler Johnny Morris began selling tackle out of his father’s liquor store in Springfield, Missouri, today 100 retail and marine centers host 120 million people annually. Bass Pro Shops also operates White River Marine Group, offering an unsurpassed collection of industry-leading boat brands, and Big Cedar Lodge, America’s Premier Wilderness Resort. Under the visionary conservation leadership of Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops is known as a national leader in protecting habitat and introducing families to the outdoors and has been named by Forbes as “one of America’s Best Employers.”

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