Outdoor Channel is augmenting its fishing fare, acquiring the rights to five genre shows, beginning next year.
The Temecula, Calif.-headquartered programmer has secured the rights for a quintet of established series, one that aired on Versus, while the others have been part of ESPN2's outdoor category lineup. Deal terms were not disclosed.
Previously on Comcast's national sports service, Fishing University is an educational show that aspired to help viewers learn success-oriented fishing skills and refinements. Each thirty-minute program will be viewed as an intensive course in one important aspect of fishing.
Presented in partnership with the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, Buccaneers and Bones features a collection of luminary anglers, including Tom Brokaw, Michael Keaton, Zach Gilford, Patagonia outdoor clothing company founder Yvon Chouinard, saltwater angling pioneer Lefty Kreh, and acclaimed photographer R. Valentine Atkinson. Narrated by Brokaw, the series explore the wonders of bone and tarpon fishing through the eyes of its notable cast, who have devoted a significant part of their lives to conservation causes.
The three other series focus on saltwater fishing, with Outdoor Channel partnering with CSE on Madfin Shark Series, which takes the best fishing guides in the world and puts them nose to nose with the ocean's most fearsome predators; Spanish Fly, spotlighing saltwater legend Jose Wejebe, who takes viewers to the world's most interesting and picturesque sportfishing spots; and Zona!, which showcases the incomparable Mark Zona in his unscripted and unpredictable angling escapades.
The Outdoor Channel additions come as ESPN2 begins to retreat from its hunting/fishing weekend morning block in favor of more live news and event programming like SportsCenter, College GameDay and the Barclays Premier League soccer.
Save for its ownership of B.A.S.S. and its Bass Masters programming events, ESPN2 will cut bait on field/stream sports in 2011.
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