PCB-filmed fishing show lands spot on major network
TYRA JACKSON @TyraJackPCNH
PANAMA CITY BEACH — Avid fishermen might not get to watch Capt. Justin Leake reel in tarpon and other great catches in person, but during Season 3 of “Chasin’ the Sun,” they can see it on the Discovery Channel.
The show, filmed in Panama City Beach, landed a spot on the network earlier this year — a game changer, according to J. Michael Brown, executive producer.
“We saw an opportunity to take the Panama City Beach message to a huge national audience, and after passing the network’s quality review, the show was added to the new schedule,” Brown said. “We’re extremely pleased that our show has the content and production values worthy of national broadcast on one of the nation’s most popular cable networks.”
The Discovery Channel is available in almost 100 million U.S. households and has more mainstream appeal than the networks that previously housed the show, like Sportsman Channel, Destination America and NBC Sports Network, Brown said. The historical baseline rating for the “Chasin the Sun’s” 7:30 a.m. Saturday time slot is 230,000 viewers. The upcoming season’s airtime has been moved to 8 a.m., also expected to increase viewership.
The award-winning show showcases the diverse fishing opportunities in Panama City Beach. It debuted on Sportsman Channel in 2016, with the premiere season featuring 13 episodes.
The switch to Discovery comes not only with more viewers but with more activities.
“The first two seasons we focused on fishing,” Leake said. “On Season 3, we will feature other activities like riding go-carts and paddleboarding. We’re going to capture the whole coastal lifestyle.”
Leake and champion guide and angler Capt. Travis Holeman will return as co-hosts in Season 3. The season again will consist of 13 episodes, and each will air twice, giving “Chasin’ the Sun” 26 airings over a six-month period.
Brown said the third season will be enhanced with state-of-the-art production using drone-mounted cameras, underwater photography and 360-degree cameras to give viewers extraordinary scenes of Panama City Beach and its fisheries.
“We’re pleased that ‘Chasin’ The Sun’ will be joining Discovery Channel’s Saturday morning lineup next year,” said Visit Panama City Beach President Dan Rowe. “The show is beautifully photographed and is a great example of how we share the wonderful story of Panama City Beach in ways that both inform and entertain viewers.”
The migration to the network also has reeled in many national sponsors, such as Mercury Marine, Kicker Audio, Native Eyewear, Power-Pole, Islamorada Boatworks, Dulce Vida Tequila, Z-Man Fishing Products, Florida Fishing Products and Pelican Coolers. Pirate’s Cove Marina and Royal American Beach Getaways are local sponsors of the show.
“Discovery Channel’s renewed focus on outdoor programming and ability to deliver huge audiences has drawn the attention of national sponsors,” Brown said. “As a result, ‘Chasin’ The Sun’ has been able to sign nearly a dozen sponsors with deals involving cash, product or both. In season 3, we’ll cover a significant percentage of production costs via sponsors’ investments.”
Season 3 of “Chasin’ the Sun” airs at 8 a.m. Jan. 6 on the Discovery Channel.