Poker Central, NBC Sports Group Expand Programming Partnership; Extend Deal to 2020
NBC Sports Group and Poker Central are incorporating additional Poker Central programming into NBCSN’s schedule across both linear and digital platforms throughout 2018, while also extending their preexisting programming partnership through 2020.
On the heels of last year’s media rights agreement, which included in-depth coverage of the 2017 Super High Roller Bowl and the 2017 Poker Masters, the network will now feature poker action from three of poker’s majors: the 2018 Super High Roller Bowl, U.S. Poker Open, and Poker Masters tournaments.
“We are pleased to continue growing our partnership with NBCSN to bring our expansive slate of poker programming to both new and existing audiences alike,” said JR McCabe, chief digital officer of Poker Central. “This year, poker fans will have even more ways to watch some of the world’s biggest poker tournaments.”
NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming platforms for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs – will provide coverage for all three of the aforementioned Poker Central events. NBC Sports Group and Poker Central will announce tournament dates and broadcast schedules later this year.
“After the success of last year’s Super High Roller Bowl, we are further broadening our poker content by adding more tournaments to our slate,” said Gary Quinn, vice president, programming, NBC Sports Group. “Our viewers enjoy the extremely competitive nature of Poker Central’s tournaments, and we’re looking forward to delivering more high-stakes action in 2018.”
The inaugural edition of the U.S. Poker Open will be one of the highest stakes series of the year, comprised of two $10k No Limit Hold’em events, a $10k Pot Limit Omaha tournament, three $25k No Limit Hold’em tournaments, the USPO $25k Mixed Games Championship, and the $50k No Limit Hold’em Main Event.
In 2017, the Super High Roller Bowl featured the largest buy-in of the year at $300,000. The tournament also hosted top poker professionals from around the world and surprise celebrity player, Kevin Hart. After selling out in less than a day, Poker Central expanded the field to 56 players who competed for their share of the $16.8 million prize pool – one of last year’s largest – with the top finisher, Christoph Vogelsang, going home with $6 million and the Super High Roller Bowl championship ring.
The inaugural Poker Masters in 2017 featured a week-long high-stakes poker tournament series with four $50,000 buy-in tournaments and one $100,000 buy-in tournament. German pro Steffen Sontheimer earned $2,733,000 across the series to secure the Poker Masters Purple Jacket(tm) and title of Poker Masters Champion.