"Boxing has been the mainstay for years, and people watched it, but when something new came along, all of a sudden that's exploded and boxing's kind of lagged behind," said White, the lead producer on the series. "Not that we're trying to do that, but we've changed all the rules. It's bass fishing, but that's where the similarity ends."

The slogan that Rucks, a former executive for B.A.S.S. Pro Shops, came up with is simple: "New Game. New Rules. No Limits."

Former Bassmaster Classic champion Kevin Van Dam wrote in his blog, "You're not going to see sparks, you're going to see lightning bolts."

By launching the Internet package as well as a subsequent show on the Outdoor Channel, Major League Fishing will see whether it can do what ESPN and others have failed to accomplish: grow the sport by appealing to sports fans.

"We want to have the three elements that you have in professional football, or NASCAR or the PGA Tour, which is competition, emotion and characters. We want to give you the game," Duckett said. "We want you to feel fourth-and-1. We want to see you going down 17, you're behind by one and you take out the big dog [the driver] to cut off the dogleg over the water."

Duckett said the Internet shows that will be available for $2.99 each "will have a lot of 'how to' in it," as well as demonstrate how good the professional anglers are at finding — and catching — the fish compared with recreational anglers.

"For the hardcore guys, that's going to provide a tremendous amount of information that they're interested in," Duckett said.

The Outdoor Channel show will last one hour and be "purely a sports product," Duckett said. The Internet show will last two hours, compared with 44 minutes on the typical commercial network telecast.

According to White, taking a bass fishing tournament and boiling it down to an hour is "for lack of a better term, you basically get to see the highlights. You don't see the emotions the guys go through; you get to see glimpses of it. It's not like watching golf.

"We want our cameras on the guys and really get to expose the emotions the guys are going through throughout the whole day. We're really trying to simplify fishing to the point where everyone can grab it. If you love bass fishing, you're going to eat it up because everything's there. If you don't really know about it yet, you can actually grab it and grasp the concept instantly."

don.markus@baltsun.com

For more information, go to majorleaguefishing.com

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