World Poker Tour Announces Distribution Deal in U. K., Ireland with BT Sport
12 February 2019
PokerBrave (817 articles)
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Made by the WPT is with BT Sport, one of the largest broadcast outlets in the U. K. Responsible for the channels BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and BT Sport 3 in the U. K. and Ireland, BT Sport will be broadcasting the Season XV (the most recent completed season) for its viewers. It was a deal that the WPT had been chasing, especially after signing a new deal with another British organization, FansUnite, which is a blockchain sports betting application company.

“The World Poker Tour is thrilled to be partnering with one of the largest sports television networks in the UK in BT Sport,” said Rich Sarris, the Manager of Content Distribution in the U. K. for the WPT. “As the World Poker Tour continues to expand on a global scale, BT Sport will play a significant role in putting the World Poker Tour in front of a new audience.” Another member of the WPT team, the Vice President of WPT Studios Johnny McMahon, echoed Sarris’ comments. “The WPT looks forward to its partnership with BT Sport and a new audience being able to experience one of the most exciting seasons in the history of the World Poker Tour,” McMahon stated.

The Season XV roster of events did bring out some of the best moments in the WPT’s history. Longtime commentator Mike Sexton was able to win his first WPT event (just before he left the company) at the WPT Montreal, while Sam Panzica did the unthinkable in winning two tour events at the bestbet Bounty Scramble and the Bay 101 Shooting Star. But it was the run of Benjamin Zamani that was the highlight of the season as he battled his way to the WPT Player of the Year award.

Continued Business for WPT Good Signal

The continuation of business for the WPT, including the expansion of potential viewership, is a good signal for the company. Many had been worried that a recent deal for the WPT, in which the Chinese-based Ourgame sold the WPT and another smaller company, Allied Sports International, to Black Ridge Acquisition Corporation, would see a reduction in the WPT. With the new deal signed, it potentially bodes well that Black Rock will continue onward with the WPT.

In December, that was a huge question. After buying the two companies, Black Rock merged them into one trading entity called Allied Esports Entertainment. In the press release touting the new company, Black Rock didn’t once mention anything regarding the WPT or what its future operations would be. Having spent $213.8 million on the acquisition, however, you might figure that Black Rock would have some idea what to do in the future with the organization.

The deal with FansUnite is also critical to the continuation of the WPT. FansUnite has been able to engage with another sports outlet, the former Premier League champions Leicester City, as they look to move sports betting “into the future” with the application of blockchain protocols. How the World Poker Tour fits in with this is a bit unclear, but it does show that Black Rock is looking to the future and building on their properties.