ESPN will no longer be the television provider for the World Series of Poker (WSOP). In an announcement this week, it was revealed that the CBS Sports Network will now provide television coverage. A multi-year rights agreement has been reached with CBS now named the TV partner of the poker company.
CBS will work with PokerGO, a top-rated subscription video service, to create the broadcasts. CBS also operates other platforms that will be involved in the television footage, including Paramount+. Full details of the televised covered is set to be revealed once the full schedule of the WSOP has been announced to the public.
A New Partner
For many years, ESPN was the television home for the WSOP. Coverage was expanded for the series after Chris Moneymaker won the Main Event back in 2003 when the poker boom started. Players were logging into online poker sites left and right just to be like the champion. He won his ticket to the Main Event via an online qualifier and everyone on the planet hoped to do the same.
While ESPN has a long history with the brand, CBS has also worked with them. Back in the 1970s, the television network provided coverage for the Main Event and was actually the first network to broadcast the series.
With CBS, the Main Event of the WSOP will be highlighted. The network will air 15 hours of footage. An additional 18 WSOP bracelet events will be filmed and of these tournaments, a total of 36 hours of coverage will be provided.
Online and Live Action are Back
Not long before the new television provider announcement was made, the WSOP revealed that the Online Series and the live WSOP would be back in action for 2021. Last year, the live version was unable to take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Online Series is the first to take place, set for July 1 to August 1. The schedule was just released, and online poker players will find 33 events over 32 days. Players from Nevada and New Jersey can take part by visiting the WSOP website.
For the live WSOP, the action gets started on September 30. Players will have through November 23 to take part in the many tournament events. The schedule is still being worked out, so it will be just a bit longer before we know how much money is up for grabs and what events will be found at the felt.
Once the schedule is released, we will also have a better idea of the CBS Sports coverage. It could be that the CBS network uses the main company’s assets to provide even more airing opportunities for the WSOP events, which provides fans with even more ways to tune in.