The World Poker Tour just announced that they have signed a five-year broadcasting deal with FOX Sports, which would allow them to continue airing the tournaments through Season XIX. On top of the regular broadcasts, the WPT also has plans on producing an additional 13 hours or original programming each year. This will be a mutually beneficial agreement, as the WPT brings in a lot of viewers and FOX is a popular channel to broadcast on.
Poker is Great Business
With the huge expansion that has happened with poker, and the rise in popularity, it is no surprise that since 2009, when the WPT seasons started airing, FOX Sports has enjoyed over 215 million viewers all over the United States; they also average over 900,000 viewers each week. The numbers do not lie, people want to watch the World Poker Tour seasons and any other content they create, and so FOX Sports getting the five-year deal will be big for both.
This is a great deal for either company, as President and CEO of the WPT, Adam Pliska stated,
“This unprecedented, five-year deal with FOX Sports elevates WPT into an elite and exclusive group of shows that have aired on television for nineteen seasons. This announcement is great for fans of the WPT and provides extensive, guaranteed exposure for our mainstream sponsors, including Hublot®, Monster Headphones®, Royal Caribbean International®, and FIAT®. We are proud of our new deal with FOX Sports, and we thank the network for its continued support and promotion of our content across its television and digital platforms.”
Being able to televise their sponsors is a big way that the WPT is able to fund the tournaments, as well as give players big prizes for winning. FOX is also happy to be able to continue in their partnership, with Executive Director, Acquisitions and Programming, for FOX Sports Josh Oakley adding,
“WPT remains a highly rated, regularly scheduled program on FOX Sports Regional Networks, and it’s a key part of our primetime lineup each Sunday. WPT is the perfect complement to our other sports programming, including MLB, NBA, NHL, and college football and basketball. We are excited to have this partnership through 2021.”
In either instance, being able to carry such a popular card game on their network, as many other networks also have their own type of related programming, lets them into a niche market with plenty of followers. The more popular and accessible poker becomes, the better it is for everyone.