WSOP recently announced the end of the ESPN partnership that spanned the better part of two decades. Its place will be taken by CBS Sports, another broadcasting giant.
Word Series of Poker signed a multi-year deal with CBS Sports that will televise the WSOP Main Event and other Bracelet Events scheduled for this season. Once the official WSOP 2021 season starts, CBS Sports will be the official television home.
The network is set to broadcast 15 hours of the World Series of Poker Main Event and an additional 36 hours of various Gold Bracelet games.
CBS Sports Executive Vice President of Programming Dan Weinberg said:
“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.”
He also added:
“This deal fits perfectly in our strategy to combine best-in-class events with our CBS Sports brand.”
CBS Sports Network becomes the exclusive U.S. home of WSOP! CBS Sports Network will be the new television partner for "The Main Event" and select "Bracelet Events" coming up this year @CBSSportsGang
— WSOP (@WSOP) April 19, 2021
The New Partnership Could Increase Television Coverage
This isn’t the first time these two powerhouses have collaborated. Back in the 1970s, CBS Sports was the first television network to broadcast the WSOP Main Event.
Ty Steward, the WSOP Executive Director, said of the newly stuck deal:
“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.”
This deal comes nearly two years after CBS Sports and PokerGO joined forces and live-streamed the Gold Bracelet events from the jubilee 50th annual World Series of Poker. Some of the events aired on the PokerGO platform, while others were televised across CBS Sports Digital, CBS All Access, and CBS Sports Network platforms.
Some Aspects Will Remain the Same
When the news of the partnership arrived, many poker enthusiasts had questions, most of which were pertinent to the commentators Norman Chad and Lon McEachern and ESPN’s deal with POKER PROductions.
As far as the commentator team is concerned, Lon McEachern tweeted about it, saying that “the announce team is intact,” as far as he knew. We have yet to see the comments of Norman Chad. Hopefully, the pair will come back and continue their poker adventure that’s been going strong since 2003.
— Lon McEachern (@lonmceachern) April 20, 2021
The Poker PROductions crew will still be led by the respected poker community member and former poker pro Mori Eskandani. The company has been producing WSOP events since 2008, but it added the Las Vegas events and the Main Event to its roster three years later.
The WSOP released the plans to hold both online and live events of the annual festival, with the former taking place from September 30th to November 23rd at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.
We’ll have additional info as soon as the WSOP 2021 schedule goes live.