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The World Series of Poker’s ESPN era has come to an end and the world's longest running poker tournament has returned to its roots. On Monday, CBS Sports and PokerGO announced a brand new multi-year rights agreement that sees the WSOP leave ESPN, its television home for more than 20 years, and move to the the CBS family beginning in 2021. Beginning with this year's WSOP, CBS Sports Network becomes "the exclusive domestic television home of the WSOP" and will feature 15 hours of the 2021 WSOP Main Event as well as another 36 hours of 18 other bracelet events according to a press release issued by the network. "CBS Sports has long been a pioneer in covering a broad range of championship sports," said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. "We couldn’t be more excited to see increased television coverage of the WSOP in the coming years and benefit from growing media platforms." While the announcement marks the end of the WSOP's partnership with ESPN, which began in 1987 with the first of Johnny Chan's back-to-back titles, it also marks the return of the WSOP to their original broadcast home. In 1973, CBS broadcast an hour-long special as part of their CBS Sports Spectacular which featured highly edited recap-style show of the Main Event final table. In 2019, the WSOP, through PokerGO, partnered with CBS for 25 days of streaming of non-Main Event bracelet events on CBS All Access, the company's streaming product at the time. CBS Sports Network also aired 25 highlights of bracelet events on their network, while the Main Event stayed on ESPN. "Following our past success with PokerGO, we are excited to expand our relationship with the highest-profile and richest event in competitive tournament poker featuring the best players in the world,” said Dan Weinberg, Executive Vice President of Programming, CBS Sports. "This deal fits perfectly in our strategy to combine best-in-class events with our CBS Sports brand." CBS All Access was re-branded as Paramount+ earlier this year. The release indicated plans for the WSOP to be part of the Paramount+ product offering. More details, including the potential return of longtime broadcast team Lon McEachern and Norman Chad, are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
Poker Central and CBS have announced a new content partnership that will see live streams and highlight shows from the 50th annual World Series of Poker bracelet events extend across both PokerGO as well as CBS' network of online and broadcast channels. Select events throughout the entire WSOP, taking place from May 30-July 16, will be featured on multiple platforms including PokerGO, CBS All Access, CBS' own subscription video and live streaming service, as well as on CBS Sports Network and CBS Sports Digital platforms. "The World Series of Poker, which is the pinnacle of the game, will be a fantastic addition to our digital and cable channels," said Dan Weinberg, Executive Vice President of Programming for CBS Sports. "We're very pleased to bring this engaging content to poker fans across platforms." According to Poker Central, the details of the deal includes Poker Central producing 41 days of live coverage, 25 of which will stream exclusively on CBS All Access. Eight of those days will air exclusively on PokerGO and an additional eight days that will able to be seen on both. In addition to the live stream, CBS Sports Network will also air highlight shows taken from the bracelet events that are exclusive to CBS All Access. Those highlight shows will also be available across portions of the CBS content network including CBSSports.com, the CBS Sports app, and CBS Sports HQ. "The reach and position of CBS across digital and cable platforms make this the perfect partnership for reaching devoted fans and new audiences," said Sam Simmons, President of Poker Central. "This summer's WSOP bracelet event coverage will further our ongoing strategy of expanding distribution of the most exciting live poker events." The streaming content will be hosted by a trio of well-known poker commentators including WSOP's own Lon McEachern, Ali Nejad, and long-time WSOP stream host David Tuchman. Both PokerGO and CBS All Access require a subscription to watch their content. PokerGO, which specializes in exclusive poker content, is $10 per month or a yearly subscription of $99. CBS All Access, which provides original programming and access to the network's general show library, has multiple pricing tiers that include $5.99 per month with commercials, $9.99 per month commercial free and a yearly plan where consumers save 15%. In past years, in addition, to live streams that have been available exclusively on PokerGO the World Series of Poker have hosted their own live streams which were available on their website and also broadcast on Twitch. However, it appears that there will not be a secondary live stream this year as there are no other streams planned, according to Seth Palansky, WSOP Vice President, Corporate Communication. "What has been announced from Poker Central is everything planned," Palansky told PocketFives. "This is the third year of our deal with PokerGO. They have had complete authority over how/where/quantity of events are streamed. The WSOP hasn't controlled production since 2016. "We're appreciative of the quality of production and breadth of top-notch commentators Poker Central has poured into the WSOP to make it first class, and respect their need to make the business sustainable long-term. It is far from free to set up shop and run essentially six weeks straight, so while free is nice, it's reasonable to have viewers share in the cost via a subscription model, a common model in use today across media platforms. The cost is nominal when you think about receiving about 400 hours of content just during the WSOP alone." Some of the marquee bracelet events that will be shown exclusively on CBS All Access include the final tables of the inaugural Big 50, the Marathon, Seniors Event, $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller, Monster Stack, the Mini Main Event, the Little One for One Drop, and the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six Max. PokerGO will have exclusivity to the final tables of the $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em, $10,000 Heads Up Championship, Millionaire Maker, and $50,000 Poker Players Championship, among others. CBS All Access is currently only available to customers in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. The rest of the world will be able to view all of the events with their subscription to PokerGO. Schedule of PokerGO/CBS All Access Streaming Events Date Time Event Airing 05/30 1 p.m. $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty Final Table (Event #2) CBS All Access/ PokerGO 05/31 1 p.m. BIG 50 - $500 No-Limit Hold'em Final Table (Event #3) PokerGO 06/02 1 p.m. $1,500 Omaha Hi/Lo 8 or Better Final Table (Event #4) CBS All Access 06/03 TBD High Roller - $50,000 No-Limit Hold'em for the 50th Annual Final Table (Event #5) PokerGO 06/04 7 p.m. $600 No-Limit Hold'em Deepstack Final Table (Event #9) CBS All Access 06/05 1 p.m. $10,000 Short Deck No-Limit Hold'em Final Table (Event #8) PokerGO 06/06 1 p.m. $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Final Table (Event #11) CBS All Access/ PokerGO 06/07 1 p.m. BIG 50 - $500 No-Limit Hold'em Final Table (Event #3) CBS All Access 06/08 1 p.m. $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em Final Table (Event #15) PokerGO 06/09 1 p.m. $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Final Table (Event #18) CBS All Access 06/10 1 p.m. $1,500 Seven-Card Stud Final Table (Event #20) CBS All Access 06/11 1 p.m. $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Final Table (Event #21) CBS All Access/ PokerGO 06/12 1 p.m. Millionaire Maker - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Final Table (Event #19) PokerGO 06/13 1 p.m. $1,500 Seven-Card Stud Hi/Lo 8 or Better Final Table (Event #27) CBS All Access 06/14 1 p.m. $10,000 HORSE Final Table (Event #29) CBS All Access/ PokerGO 06/15 1 p.m. $2,620 No-Limit Hold'em Marathon Final Table (Event #26) CBS All Access 06/16 1 p.m. Seniors No-Limit Hold'em Final Table (Event #32) CBS All Access 06/17 1 p.m. $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout Final Table (Event #36) CBS All Access/ PokerGO 06/18 3 p.m. $800 No-Limit Hold'em Deepstack Final Table (Event #37) CBS All Access 06/19 1 p.m. $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Final Table (Event #40) CBS All Access 06/20 1 p.m. $10,000 Seven Card Stud Final Table (Event #41) CBS All Access/ PokerGO 06/21 7 p.m. $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Bounty Final Table (Event #44) CBS All Access 06/22 1 p.m. $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller Final Table (Event #45) CBS All Access 06/23 1 p.m. $1,000/$10,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold'em (Event #47) CBS All Access/ PokerGO 06/24 9 p.m. $800 No-Limit Hold'em Deepstack 8-Handed Final Table (Event #53) CBS All Access 06/25 1 p.m. $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed Final Table (Event #52) PokerGO 06/26 1 p.m. Monster Stack - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Final Table (Event #50) CBS All Access 06/27 3 p.m. $50,000 Poker Players Championship Final Table (Event #58) PokerGO 06/28 1 p.m. $50,000 Poker Players Championship Final Table (Event #58) PokerGO 06/29 7 p.m. $400 COLOSSUS Final Table (Event #61) CBS All Access 06/30 1 p.m. $1,500 Omaha Mix Final Table (Event #63) CBS All Access 07/01 1 p.m. $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Final Table (Event #65) CBS All Access 07/02 9 p.m. $1,000 Mini Main Event Final Table (Event #69) CBS All Access 07/03 7 p.m. $888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold'em Final Table (Event #64) CBS All Access 07/04 1 p.m. $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed Final Table (Event #70) CBS All Access 07/11 5 p.m. $1000 +$111 Little One for One Drop Final Table (Event #75) CBS All Access 07/12 1 p.m. $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Final Table (Event #79) CBS All Access 07/13 1 p.m. $100,000 No-Limit Hold'em High Roller Final Table (Event #83) CBS All Access/ PokerGO 07/14 1 p.m. $1,500 50th Annual Bracelet Winners Only No-Limit Hold'em Final Table (Event #81) CBS All Access 07/15 7 p.m. The Closer - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Final Table (Event #84) CBS All Access 07/16 1 p.m. $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed Final Table (Event #86) CBS All Access