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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Fishing tourney to be aired nationally

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Coverage of the National Guard FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Championship held at Philpott Lake in September will be broadcast Sunday.

The program will be in high definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network (226 on Comcast Digital) when “FLW Outdoors” airs from 1 to 2 p.m.

According to the FLW website, a tournament-fishing organization, “FLW” is hosted by Jason Harper and is broadcast to more than 559 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.

Forty college fishermen from nine states and 14 high school fishermen from seven states participated in the Sept. 13-15 tournament, which also featured a daily fan expo for the public at the Martinsville Wal-Mart. Data gathered from event surveys indicate that the event had an economic impact of $49,566 in direct expenditures, and FLW estimates the value of print and digital media coverage to be valued at approximately $441,000.

The 20 college teams competed for a Ranger Z117 bass boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a berth in the national championship.

A news release on the FLW release listed teams from these schools:

• From Virginia: Radford University (two teams), Virginia Tech (three teams).

• From West Virginia: Fairmont State University, Glenville State College.

• From Pennsylvania: La Roche College, Penn State, Slippery Rock University.

• From Michigan: Michigan State University.

• From Ohio: Ohio State (two teams), Ohio University, University of Akron, Xavier University.

• From New Jersey: Ramapo College.

• From Maryland: Shippensburg University.

• From New York: State University of New York-Plattsburgh (two teams).

Weigh-ins were live-streamed over the internet during the 30-minute “FLW Live” webcast each day during the tournament. Sunday’s NBC Sports program will show footage from the web-cast filmed in Martinsville and new footage from on the lake that was not seen by spectators during the tournament.

“We are honored to have our beautiful lake and community featured on this international television program” said Jennifer Doss, director of tourism for Martinsville-Henry County. “High-profile media coverage like this can really help put Philpott Lake and our tri-county region on the map as a recreational destination of choice. We hope that viewers who enjoy outdoor recreation will plan to come visit and see the scenic beauty of Philpott Lake first hand after viewing it on television.”

Craig “Rocky” Rockwell, the operations project manager for Philpott Lake, stated: “Having this tournament come to Philpott Lake was incredible, and it highlights the partnerships and local investments in our operations at Philpott Lake. FLW could not have brought this tournament to Philpott Lake without the Twin Ridge Fishing Tournament Facility, which was built and put into operation just this last spring as a result of a local partnership effort, for which Franklin County invested $50,000.”

“With just the immediate economic impact of this tournament, the tri-county area around the lake saw nearly a 1,000 percent return on the local investment. That’s absolutely incredible and will only be multiplied by the exposure of being televised internationally,” he added.

In addition to covering the tournament, NBC Sports also sent a crew to film other attractions in the Martinsville area, including: fly fishing on the Smith River, Martinsville Speedway, Smith River Sports Complex, Virginia Museum of Natural History, The Big Chair, Studio 107, uptown Martinsville and the Circus Mural.

“Our staff was informed by the producers that these scenes would be used as brief glimpses of life in Martinsville-Henry County as the main focus of the program is fishing on Philpott Lake. We realize that not all the scenes filmed will make it in the final cut of the show but are excited to watch and see which attractions are shown,” Doss said.

The event was hosted by Martinsville-Henry County EDC’s Tourism & Film Division, Patrick County Tourism, Franklin County Commerce & Leisure Services, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Philpott Lake, the release said.


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