In the weeks since the World Poker Tour announced that it signed a broadcast deal with Fox Sports Network, WPT Enterprises has been busy securing more agreements to broaden its brand. Both involve bringing a wider audience into the poker world as the show proceeds with its seventh season of tournaments and television broadcasts.
One of the deals involves an international agreement between WPTE and ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Limited to air the World Poker Tour in India. Zee Sports is the country’s first private sports channel that boasts of such sports as football, cricket, tennis, and golf, and it will begin showing 19 two-hour episodes from the WPT’s fourth season in September. Zee Sports will also promote the series through television commercials and its website.
WPT Founder, President, and CEO Steve Lipscomb said, “Zee Sports and WPTE together create a powerful partnership as the most trusted vehicles to introduce poker to India. We are delighted to be making history together.”
The other endeavor announced was directly in line with the Fox Sports Network (FSN) broadcast agreement but focused more on the subscription online poker site, ClubWPT. A new television show is being created specifically for FSN with seats on the series coming from poker and blackjack players on the website.
Subscription to ClubWPT is available to all players, including those in the United States as the site operates under sweepstakes rules, for a $19.95 monthly fee, and no other funds are deposited by players to compete. Participating members play for points in poker and blackjack tournaments, sit-n-go’s, and ring games in order to win cash and prizes. Now, they will have the opportunity to win seats on the television series that will be broadcast nationally, with a new final table each week and various cash prizes on the line.
Lipscomb noted, “FSN is a reigning media giant whose unparalleled energy and resources will benefit ClubWPT.com on a whole new level. We look forward to building our relationship with them and establishing additional deals to help reach the huge market potential that ClubWPT.com holds.”
More details about the FSN TV series and chances to win on ClubWPT will be made available in the weeks to come, though a broadcast schedule has yet to be announced.
The WPT has also yet to announce the air dates of the World Poker Tour episodes that began filming in July with the first stop of Season VII at the Bellagio Cup. However, with a firm deal in place with Fox Sports, one that seems to keep expanding with more opportunities, poker fans will undoubtedly be given the TV schedule as soon as it is determined.