Poker Central, the game’s first 24/7 cable television network, is set to launch on October 1st.
The highly anticipated channel has been keeping fans in the dark on many details, but this week Poker Central revealed its primetime programming schedule for its debut week in the United States.
Previously broadcasted episodes of “Premier League Poker” (Monday-Saturday 8 PM ET) and “Poker After Dark” (Nightly, 11 PM ET) will carry the heavy load of airtime.
The coverage all leads up to the world premiere of the “Super High Roller Cash Game” on December 2nd, a 13-episodic series that combines old school and progressive personalities at the felt vying for millions of dollars in a $250,000 unlimited re-buy Texas Hold’em showdown.
“Poker Central is about to super serve the tens of millions of passionate and sophisticated poker fans in the United States and around the world,” Clint Stinchcomb, the channel’s CEO said in a press release. “With thousands of hours of new, fresh content, Poker Central aims to entertain as well as it informs.”
Poker fans in the US will no longer have to wait till the late hours to catch poker programming on their small screens as Poker Central will cater to the game’s fanatics around the clock.
In addition to its original content, the network has acquired the rights to air:
WPT Alpha 8
Heads Up Grand Slam
Doubles Poker Championship
Face the Ace
100 Greatest Poker Moments
High Stakes Poker
Women’s World Open
The Big Game Vienna, Barcelona, and North Cyprus
Headquartered in the gambling mecca of Las Vegas, Poker Central hopes to become the hub of televised poker.
“Television and Internet have made poker play global and universal, giving rise to a new set of stars outside of Hollywood and traditional sports,” Stinchcomb continued. “We are excited that launch day has arrived and so has mainstream poker.”
Stinchcomb comes backed with a proven record of successfully launching cable TV networks.
He helped lead Discovery’s rollout of HD Theater and the Military Channel, and oversaw production on notable shows like “Planet Earth” and “American Chopper.”
Poker Central certainly has a tall task ahead of it, as televised poker has been about as predictable and reliable as the river card.
Poker television is nothing new, the game garnering coverage dating back to the 1970s.
Since then, poker has enjoyed periods of overwhelming success on TV, but also its fair share of shortcomings.
It peaked in the late 90s and early 2000s when online poker first made its way into American homes and the poker boom was in full effect. “Rounders” became a cult classic, Planet Poker debuted, and Chris Moneymaker should amateur players that riches were for the taking when he won the World Series of Poker Main Event.
Programs like the “United States Poker Championship” and “Celebrity Poker Showdown” hogged primetime slots. Slowly but surely, interest has declined.
Last fall’s November Nine attracted about half of the audience that the World Series of Poker drew during the game’s zenith. Of course, fans now have other ways to consume content thanks to streaming services like Twitch.
To combat a seemingly difficult landscape, Poker Central is going all-in by reaching deals with the game’s most notable stars including Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, and Antonio Esfandiari.
Interested in tuning in? Poker Central will announce distribution details on Thursday.