Televised poker tournaments

Televised poker

Poker whether you consider it to be a sport or not, usually finds itself on sports broadcast channels alongside soccer, baseball, basketball, etc. So how does the contemporary landscape of televised poker sit in today’s world, especially given the rise of USA poker sites which have helped make the sport more popular and acceptable than ever.

American viewers switch over to CBS Sports

Poker is extremely popular in the USA for a number of reasons. It’s a popular pastime that doesn’t require any physical fitness, while it’s also so easy to play: you can simply click here for a selection of great usa poker sites and you’re good to go. It’s a big commodity to have broadcast rights over there. The first real-time that poker got a boost in ratings and exposure was during the poker boom in the 2000s. When the NHL had its issues in the same time frame, ESPN had to fill its glaring ice hockey-shaped void with something. The World Series of Poker picked up the slack and since then ESPN has broadcast a fair bit of poker, even if its coverage waned over time.

Well, that was true until 2021. ESPN completely washed its hands of poker as CBS Sports became the new home of WSOP broadcasts in the US. CBS does a fantastic job of covering poker like any other sport with a detailed schedule, journalistic coverage and more. Glancing down their live listings, they’ve got more than a few poker tournaments/events in a week, making it an ideal place for poker fans.

Online coverage

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past ten or so years, you’ll appreciate that watching content isn’t just as linear as switching on your television. Poker enjoys the same online opportunities as contemporary dramas, documentaries and more.

PokerGO is generally seen as the best website for online poker content with a deep library and archive of poker footage. This ranges from in-play tournament coverage, and documentaries about specific players and buildup to upcoming events. Given that this is their wheelhouse, they hype up each and every piece of content to ensure that users are compelled to watch it. There are multiple live streams on the site at once following the biggest players and their activity, usually with concurrent events to watch at any one time. The Poker Masters and StormX events are just some of the more recent broadcasts available on PokerGo.

PokerTube started life as a humble YouTube channel in 2006. Now it has its own site with a deep collection of media that is bursting at the seams. As well as offering its own content and videos it also lists a lot about past and present poker-related TV shows, becoming a very useful resource.

How about the European Poker Tour?

Yep, it goes without saying that the majority of poker TV and live coverage follows the WSOP. After that, the most popular circuit is probably the European Poker Tour. The EPT is actually owned and operated by PokerStars.

This means that avid poker fans would want a variance in their poker tournament viewership can do so by heading to the PokerStars website or app. However, it’s also seen on other content providers as the brand is trying to reach out to new audiences.

Twitch Streams

One of the best places to watch poker in 2023 is dedicated to streaming channels on Twitch. While Twitch started out as a place for games to share their play sessions, now it’s got everything on there, including poker. Here you can find television-style output from the biggest operators like Poker Go, 247 Poker, the World Poker Tour and others. There’s also output from amateur players who are sharing their journey as new online poker players. Some of the more prolific players doing this have earned a cult-like status within the online poker community for their output.

One of the best features of this medium is that organizations that can’t get a TV broadcast deal in the US or the UK, can make their content available through Twitch. The Asian Poker Tour often shares content from its events held in China, South Korea and beyond.

Is there any poker coverage in the UK?

A few years ago it used to be commonplace for Channel 4 to broadcast live poker events and even had a show ‘Late Night Poker’ It seems however that the broadcaster has no interest in poker anymore. It’s not even on their on-demand service. In 2022, there were rumours that Late Night Poker could return more than 20 years after its original run but nothing has come of it since. Sky Sports also used to have its own channel dedicated to poker but that has also since disappeared.

TNT Sports (formerly known as BT Sports) is now the go-to place for UK poker fans wanting to watch the World Poker Tour. However, in the company’s re-brand it doesn’t look like poker coverage is a priority for TNT as it seldom features on their website.

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