NBC Sports Group and Poker Central have agreed a deal that will see some of the game’s biggest stars broadcast to millions of home in the US.
According to an April 3 announcement by Poker Central, the new deal will see the TV production company provide poker content to the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) on a weekly basis. Although an exact launch date hasn’t been confirmed, it’s believed the first shows will air in the summer.
Kicking off the new schedule of poker content on NBCSN will be the Super High Roller Bowl. Set to take place inside the Aria, Las Vegas, between May 28 and June 1, the $300,000 buy-in event has already captured the imagination of the poker community.
Big Money Spectacle to Entertain the Masses
After releasing details of the event, 54 players registered their interest ahead of a live draw where 35 players were given a seat in the TV tournament. The unexpected amount of interest meant that a number of high profile players, including Daniel Negreanu, missed out on a seat.
This eventually prompted the Aria to award 20 extra seats to some of the bigger names that didn’t make it. Negreanu was one of the players given a seat at the second time of asking and he’ll now compete alongside the likes of Jason Mercier, Dan Smith, Phil Hellmuth and Tony G for a guaranteed top prize of $6 million.
As well as providing a high stakes spectacle for established poker fans this summer, Poker Central and NBCSN are hoping the new deal will appeal to an “agnostic audience.” With poker on TV in the US and beyond taking a hit after Black Friday in 2011, it looks as though at least one major US TV network is ready to get back into the game.
A New Era For Poker Broadcasters
NBC was once the home of poker on TV in the US with Poker After Dark running for seven seasons between 2007 and 2011. However, with Black Friday causing issues with advertising and sponsorship, the show aired its latest episode on September 23, 2011.
The new deal between Poker Central and NBCSN should rekindle the latter’s relationship with poker and, in turn, set the stage for more shows in the future. In fact, according to Poker Central’s press release, the two companies are already planning new content which should air later in 2017 and beyond.
What’s also interesting about the deal is that Poker Central will be pushing out content across NBC’s digital platforms. This will mean that viewers will be able to watch events via their desktop and mobile devices.
Moreover, it will give international viewers without access to NBCSN the chance to watch, at the very least, video clips from events broadcast in the US.