WSOP agrees new broadcast deal with ESPN
Poker Central® has acquired the global television and digital media rights to the annual summer World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas. Poker Central and ESPN have reached an agreement to expand programming from the tournament including live event coverage and original episodes throughout the year.
The agreement marks the first time ESPN will air same-day coverage of the WSOP from day one of the Main Event to the conclusion of the final table, a model which will continue through 2020.
Under the terms of the new deal, ESPN will telecast an estimated 40 hours of live* WSOP Main Event coverage each July, plus a commitment of original packaged shows totaling 130 hours annually. Any coverage not aired by ESPN will be streamed exclusively through Poker Central’s digital distribution channels.
“ESPN has been our home since 2002 and we’re delighted to extend the relationship into the next decade,” said Ty Stewart, executive director, WSOP. “Having every day live coverage of the WSOP Main Event is truly a huge commitment on behalf of ESPN and Poker Central and we look forward to delivering to our faithful audience wall-to-wall action from the outset for the very first time.”
“We are thrilled to add the preeminent poker brand, the World Series of Poker, to our growing portfolio of poker-related content,” said JR McCabe, chief digital officer, Poker Central. “We have major plans to reinvent the WSOP offering to greatly expand how, when and where fans of the game of poker can watch and engage with the game.”
“The World Series of Poker has been a longstanding staple of ESPN programming,” said Dan Ochs, director of programming and acquisitions, ESPN. “We are pleased to reach an agreement to continue to carry the sport’s most prominent event and modernize our coverage with the new same day live coverage throughout July each year.”
As part of the agreement, Poker Central will offer sponsorship opportunities and commercial inventory.