- CBS Sports is now the exclusive US broadcast home for the World Series of Poker.
- ESPN has been the WSOP’s broadcast partner for more than 20 years.
- CBS was the first US TV network to broadcast the WSOP main event in 1973.
If you haven’t noticed, quality gambling related content is seriously in demand these days. Sports betting in particular is a red hot market but generally speaking mainstream media is borderline desperate to add any kind of gambling related content to their offerings. Were that not enough, sportsbooks and casinos–online and otherwise–are also hungry for content as a means of promotion.
The latest mainstream media deal for an iconic gaming property dropped late last week when CBS and the World Series of Poker jointly announced their new broadcast partnership. Beginning this year, CBS will be the exclusive US broadcast provider for the WSOP ‘Main Event’ as well as selected “Bracelet Events”. For the 2021 World Series of Poker, CBS Sports will air fifteen hours of “Main Event” coverage and 36 hours from 18 additional “Gold Bracelet” events. Not only is this the most coverage ever in terms of running time it’s by far the most expansive coverage in the number of WSOP events that will be broadcast.
Although the WSOP’s event coverage has been synonymous with ESPN for over two decades it was actually CBS that first broadcast the main event nationally in 1973. CBS will partner with the subscription video service PokerGO on the broadcasts. Other Viacom CBS platforms, including the new Paramount+ streaming service, will also be a part of the coverage. For now, there’s not much in the way of details but the press release announcing the partnership indicates that more information will be made public when the WSOP’s official schedule is released this summer.
Ty Stewart, WSOP Executive Director, pointed to CBS’ track record of groundbreaking coverage for a multitude of events in his press release comments:
“CBS Sports has long been a pioneer in covering a broad range of championship sports. We couldn’t be more excited to see increased television coverage of the WSOP in the coming years and benefit from their growing media platforms.”
Dan Weinberg, Executive Vice President of Programming, CBS Sports, is pleased to add the WSOP to his network’s portfolio:
“Following our past success with Poker Central, 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. This deal fits perfectly in our strategy to combine best-in-class events with our CBS Sports brand.”
The World Series of Poker has already announced plans for a full live schedule in Las Vegas this fall as well as tentative dates.