WSOP Finds New Home on CBS Sports Network, More TV Content Scheduled for 2021

April 21st, 2021 | by Jason Reynolds

TV coverage of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) will no longer be shown on ESPN following a deal between Caesars Entertainment and the CBS Sports Network.

CBS Sports Network

Caesars Entertainment has a new TV partner, which means the WSOP will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network this year. (Image: NewcastStudio)

The multi-year deal comes into play with immediate effect, which means fans will be able to watch the 2021 WSOP on the CBS Sports Network.

Caesars has also tapped into other parts of the CBS Network with its new deal. Thanks to the partnership, WSOP content will also be shown on ViacomCBS platforms such as Paramount.

CBS Sports Network Goes Big on WSOP Content

As well as providing more ways to watch the world’s largest poker festival, CBS will air more content than ESPN.

This year’s TV schedule includes 36 hours’ worth of bracelet event coverage and 15 hours of Main Event action.

Dan Weinberg, executive vice president of programming at CBS Sports, said the deal was a natural progression for the network.

“Following our past success with PokerGo, we are excited to expand our relationship with the highest-profile and richest event in competitive tournament poker,” Weinberg said on April 19.

The partnership between Caesars and the CBS Sports Network not only means more WSOP coverage but a return to the old days.

Although ESPN aired WSOP content for 30 years, the very first events were shown on CBS Sports. Indeed, it was this TV coverage during the 1970s that helped propel poker into the mainstream.

Its appeal faded during the 80s and 90s, but it never went away completely. Then, thanks to the internet and Chris Moneymaker’s famous Main Event win, poker became a global phenomenon.

Old Connections but New Deal for WSOP

Now, everything has come full circle and the WSOP will air on a CBS network.

“CBS Sports has long been a pioneer in covering a broad range of championship sports. We couldn’t be more excited to see increased television coverage of the WSOP in the coming years,” said WSOP executive director Ty Stewart.

One important point to note is that the WSOP won’t be airing on CBS Sports. The deal is with the CBS Sports Network, which is part of the CBS Entertainment Group and ViacomCBS.

The network is part of the same company that owns CBS Sports, but it focuses on smaller events. In other words, CBS Sports is reserved for things such as the NFL and NCAA tournaments.

The CBS Sports Network focuses on non-major sports and is available via DirecTV and Dish Networks in the US.

This does mean TV coverage of the WSOP will be seen by fewer viewers. ESPN is a bigger network in the US. What’s more, the CBS Sports Network isn’t available internationally.

However, Caesars’ partnership with streaming platform PokerGo means the WSOP will still be seen by a global audience.

So, even though the 2021 WSOP might be slightly different due to COVID restrictions, there should be plenty of action for fans to watch later this year.


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