The PokerStars American homecoming is scheduled to take place in the first six months of 2016, when the world’s most active Internet poker room returns to the United States by way of New Jersey.
Amaya, the platform’s owner since its $4.9 billion acquisition in June of 2014, has made a concerted effort to diversify the brand and extend its products line.
That’s continuing in 2016, and the company announced this week that PokerStars has launched an application for Apple TV.
The app allows users to stream 24-hour broadcasts featuring the network’s marquee events, including the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, which is currently being held at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas.
“It’s still in its early stages, but if you’ve ever wanted 24-hour poker broadcasts, you can now do it with the latest Apple TV console,” PokerStars head blogger Brad Willis wrote.
Through the PokerStars TV iTunes and Google Play app, iOS and Android users have been able to do for years precisely what the PokerStars Apple TV app offers. PokerStars TV gives customers the capacity to watch poker shows, stream events, and access live tournament updates from around the globe.
The PokerStars.TV domain provides non-iOS and Android users with the ability to access the app’s content without a download.
So what exactly is the point of building an application specifically for Apple TV?
“We felt it was time we brought it to the TV in a format that is well positioned for the change already underway to how content is consumed,” PokerStars spokesman Eric Hollreiser told eGaming Review.
“We were looking for something focused, that we knew was well suited for the platform, which could be turned around fast, and at the same time still provide key learnings for us on how to develop for the TV OS ecosystem.”
According to many forecasts, the next 12 months will be a pivotal time for American online poker. Several states are expected to consider legalization including California, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, respectively ranked by population as number one, six, and 15.
Entrepreneur Alexandre Dreyfus will soon debut the Global Poker League (GPL) in his continued quest to “sportify” the game and create an atmosphere that closely resembles professional sports.
Speaking of sports, daily fantasy contests will surely be a continued topic of contention, and the eventual final verdict on its legality could theoretically influence the legal status of Internet poker.
Last but certainly not least, the return of PokerStars to New Jersey will rejuvenate the game online and is expected to return former players that exited the legal market in 2011. PokerStars positioning itself with as many mediums as possible to spread its content is likely a sound business strategy.
Last April, PokerStars released Play Along, a revolutionary app that gave installers the ability to try and guess what some of the most famous players would do in their next move.
Formats such as Play Along could be perfect complements to Dreyfus’ GPL in giving audience members added excitement in watching poker.
Hollreiser confirmed that additional upgrades and improvements will be forthcoming to the Apple TV PokerStars program.