In July of 2008, WPT Enterprises announced that it signed a broadcast deal with Fox Sports Network to air its seventh season of World Poker Tour shows. The press release came just as the first tournament of Season 7 was in the final table stage and being filmed. After nearly six months of anticipation, the announcement was finally made that the episodes will begin on a television schedule that begins on January 4, 2009.
The World Poker Tour is set to be part of FSN’s Sunday Night Sports Block, which includes Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, and National Basketball Association games and related programming. A total of 26 episodes will air beginning on Sunday, January 4th, and continue through the winter and spring television season. All WPT shows will be part of the Season 7 tournament schedule.
The format for the FSN season will take after that which aired last year on GSN as a one-hour, two-part format that allows more hands to be shown, more analysis from hosts Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten, and more sideline interviews from new WPT Live Updates Hostess Amanda Leatherman. All shows are sponsored by FullTiltPoker.net, as well as Southwest Airlines as the WPT’s official airline.
WPT Founder, President, and CEO Steve Lipscomb noted, “Not only are we excited to bring our seventh season to the airwaves, we’re ecstatic to be a part of one of the leading networks for sports, FSN. Together, WPT and FSN continue to bring the action into living rooms and put fans on the edge of their seats.”
George Greenberg, FSN Executive Vice President of Programming and Production, added, “FSN is pleased to be the new home of the WPT, the foremost brand in televised poker. This season promises the biggest names, the highest stakes and the most drama and we are very excited to watch all the action unfold.”
The World Poker Tour episodes will not be the first WPT Enterprises production to hit the FSN airwaves, as ClubWPT.com has been airing for several months. The ClubWPT.com episodes that have aired thus far will be aired as a TV marathon on Christmas Day for those who may have missed it.
In addition WPT Enterprises announced that it will launch a channel finder on its World Poker Tour website to allow followers of the show access to a television guide as to when each of the two FSN shows can be seen on varying channels and at different times.