On January 30th, 2015, pocketfives.com published an interview with Matt Parvis, Chief Creative Office of iBus Media, on the news that broke about PokerNews.com no longer providing exclusive live updates of the World Series of Poker.
Many readers and players forget the massive amount of revenue that goes into sending a staff to cover a WSOP event. The staff travels to a variety of locations around the world and that means airline flights, hotels, meals, wages (that add up fast due to the 15-hour-a-day job), and other expenses that can be incurred. According to Parvis there are no big mainstream sponsors for those events and affiliate revenues do not cover the costs.
Parvis went on to say that expenses are broken down and additional marketing which would include sponsored blog posts and banners is figured in to a proposal that is presented for the cost of each event.
The WSOP's and PokerNews' relationship has been a bit different than other clients because PokerNews has a history with the WSOP and it is, after all, the world's biggest and grandest poker festival. Parvis said, "Hats off to Tony G – he has always been a big supporter of the WSOP and the belief that we needed to have a big presence there. If we were losing money, it wasn't quite as big of a deal to Tony on items like the WSOP."
When asked if PokerNews makes money from live reporting, Parvis responded, "Yes, we earn revenue, but all of that revenue goes into the product. We aren't profiteering off live reporting."
Before the WSOP began providing online poker, PokerNews' WSOP coverage was sponsored by PokerStars which kept the company from losing a lot of money. And the WSOP began chipping in to help with expenses as budgets became smaller and the industry began to shrink. PokerNews also sold sponsorships to other companies to help defray expenses.
Since other operators now see the WSOP.com as a competitor, PokerNews found it difficult to get outside sponsorships to cover the overall costs of the coverage. Parvis said, "We came in this year wanting to make sure our costs were covered. If we couldn't get our costs covered, then we were going to take a different route. That's what ended up happening."
PokerNews will still cover the WSOP because...because PokerNews is the go-to online poker news site for everything going on in the world. Live updates won't be on the menu for the WSOP but PokerNews will be there, bringing you all the news that's worth knowing about.
The last topic of the interview is a query about the My Stack app that was available at the 2014 WSOP to which Parvis responded: "Yes! In the past, we have reserved My Stack to events that PokerNews was physically present at. We're hoping to release an updated version of My Stack in the next couple of weeks to make it more accessible. We want to make My Stack available to players in WPT events and mid-stakes major events, for example. It's a really fun experience when you're at a poker tournament to tell your friends and family to follow your updates on PokerNews and My Stack and we're looking to grow that."