Launched by Discovery Networks India, DSPORT is an Indian television channel that caters to sports genre. The channel recently announced that it had acquired the exclusive broadcast rights to Season 2 of the Poker Sports League (PSL), a franchise-based Indian poker league.
According to Indian business newspaper The Hindu Business Line, the choice of broadcast partner for PSL was made after carefully evaluating multiple bids.
It will be the country’s first ever broadcast of the globally popular sport of poker. Initially, the tournament will be provided in English.
Commenting on the broadcast deal, Dabur India Vice-Chairman and PSL Co-founder, Amit Burman, said, “DSPORT’s wide coverage of international sporting properties made it the natural choice. PSL’s biggest challenge has been to overcome preconceived notions and change people’s perception with regards to Poker. Hence, our positioning has been clear from the very start and this will further get established by getting the league broadcasted on a sports channel,” according to Business Line.
Brand ambassador to PSL, chess master Viswanathan Anand was recruited by the franchise in December.
Also commenting on the deal, Head of DSPORT business, TS Panesar, said, “Poker is broadcast on sports channels across the globe since 1978. In India, this will be a first and considering that PSL is the world’s first franchise-based poker league, we are excited to partner with them.”
Business Line reports that a commitment of ₹150 crore has been received by the league to be spread over the following eight years and that it currently has a dozen franchises.
PSL has, for Season 2, reportedly franchised 12 teams, each of which has committed nearly ₹15 crore spanning the next eight years. A prize pool of ₹3.6 crore has been announced by Season 2, which is a substantial increase from the prior edition.
Each of the 12 teams will consist of 10 players each, which will be comprised of one mentor/ playing captain, two pro-layers, an additional two from free live qualifiers, followed by three more from free online qualifiers and finally, two wild-card entries.