Poker fans used to have to wait until August to start watching World Series of Poker coverage on ESPN and for the last nine years have had to wait until November to see a new world champion crowned. That’s not the case anymore.
As part of a groundbreaking announcement made Monday morning, PokerCentral has become the owner of the global television and digital media rights for the WSOP and has partnered with ESPN to bring the WSOP broadcasts into a more modern era.
ESPN will broadcast roughly 40 hours of coverage of the WSOP Main Event on a 30-minute delay, including full coverage of the final table from July 20 – 22. The shows will be split between ESPN and ESPN2.
“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.”
PokerCentral will also produce 130 hours of original programming each year. Plans to stream coverage of other events will be revealed closer to the start of the 2017 WSOP. In recent years the live streaming of preliminary event final tables was available on WSOP.com.
The agreement also extends the WSOP on ESPN partnership through 2020, a move that WSOP executives, including the man responsible for creating the November Nine concept in 2008, are quite happy with.
“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.”
|July 9||1b||2pm – 6pm|
|July 19||Final table preview||10pm-11pm|
|July 20||9 down to 6||9pm-TBD|
|July 21||6 down to 3||9pm-TBD|
|July 22||3 down to 1||9pm-TBD|
Days not broadcast on ESPN will be made available via PokerCentral’s online platforms.
The 2017 WSOP begins May 31.