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Old 10-29-2016, 08:09 PM   #1
SuperSwag
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ESPN losing subs (future of poker on ESPN?)

I thought this might be relevant. Front page of reddit has a story that ESPN is losing thousands of subscribers. What will this mean for the future of the WSOP coverage?

http://www.outkickthecoverage.com/es...history-102916
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Old 10-30-2016, 12:10 AM   #2
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Re: ESPN losing subs (future of poker on ESPN?)

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Originally Posted by SuperSwag View Post
I thought this might be relevant. Front page of reddit has a story that ESPN is losing thousands of subscribers. What will this mean for the future of the WSOP coverage?

http://www.outkickthecoverage.com/es...history-102916
Contract is up after next year. I'm guessing that will be the end of ESPN coverage. They'll either make a deal with FS1, Spike, or something similar or it will be streaming only on the WSOP site. Without a second boom, the popularity is dead as we know it.
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Old 11-03-2016, 06:40 PM   #3
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Re: ESPN losing subs (future of poker on ESPN?)

https://www.google.ca/trends/explore?q=poker
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Old 11-03-2016, 09:30 PM   #4
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Re: ESPN losing subs (future of poker on ESPN?)

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Someone needs to get Greenland onboard, fast! Surely they can reverse the trend.
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Old 11-04-2016, 01:28 AM   #5
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Re: ESPN losing subs (future of poker on ESPN?)

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Originally Posted by Dr. Meh View Post
Contract is up after next year. I'm guessing that will be the end of ESPN coverage. They'll either make a deal with FS1, Spike, or something similar or it will be streaming only on the WSOP site. Without a second boom, the popularity is dead as we know it.
I really hope not. Lack of ESPN coverage will kill the main event as the grand event it is now.
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Old 11-08-2016, 05:46 PM   #6
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Re: ESPN losing subs (future of poker on ESPN?)

ESPN has been losing a lot of money the past few years due to the over saturation of all their stupid "talk" shows. They have started cutting back in lots of areas. Unless the WSOP is a good earner for them, which doesn't seem the case since they are losing subs, then they probably won't renew. Only time will tell.
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Old 11-09-2016, 10:34 AM   #7
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Re: ESPN losing subs (future of poker on ESPN?)

They will continue to lose subscribers as more and more people cut cable. The future might have them sell stand alone subscriptions on platforms like Apple TV.

But I don't think that has any impact on the WSOP. I doubt those broadcasting rights are expensive and it's pretty obvious they significantly cut production cost over the last couple of years anyway. In order to keep what is left of advertisement money in the WSOP product, they certainly can't ask for more TV money in the near future.
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Old 11-09-2016, 01:34 PM   #8
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Re: ESPN losing subs (future of poker on ESPN?)

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They will continue to lose subscribers as more and more people cut cable. The future might have them sell stand alone subscriptions on platforms like Apple TV.

But I don't think that has any impact on the WSOP. I doubt those broadcasting rights are expensive and it's pretty obvious they significantly cut production cost over the last couple of years anyway. In order to keep what is left of advertisement money in the WSOP product, they certainly can't ask for more TV money in the near future.
I tend to agree with this. Yeah people are cutting ESPN but that effects them as a whole not just one sport or program. If you think ESPN will cut WSOP then they will end up cutting many things.
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Old 11-09-2016, 03:14 PM   #9
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ESPN losing subs (future of poker on ESPN?)

Well since poker isnt that cool anymore I really don't see poker being televised like it use to. Maybe it has a couple more years but it will eventually be dropped.


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Old 11-09-2016, 03:18 PM   #10
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Re: ESPN losing subs (future of poker on ESPN?)

The only thing that will cause a second poker boom would be PokerStars/Full Tilt coming to the US like it was in the old days.
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Old 11-09-2016, 05:24 PM   #11
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Re: ESPN losing subs (future of poker on ESPN?)

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Well since poker isnt that cool anymore I really don't see poker being televised like it use to. Maybe it has a couple more years but it will eventually be dropped.


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it's not at the level of 2005-2010 but it's not any worse in 2016 than 2012 or so. Infact I would argue poker has gone up very slightly since 2012-2013.
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Old 11-09-2016, 05:41 PM   #12
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Re: ESPN losing subs (future of poker on ESPN?)

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it's not at the level of 2005-2010 but it's not any worse in 2016 than 2012 or so. Infact I would argue poker has gone up very slightly since 2012-2013.


Yea it may stick around a bit maybe this year will help since qui Nguyen showed the world that pro players can be played like a fiddle.


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Old 12-20-2016, 09:47 PM   #13
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Re: ESPN losing subs (future of poker on ESPN?)

There's little chance the Main Event doesn't get covered. It wasn't exactly booming in the 90s when they aired it
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Old 12-21-2016, 03:43 PM   #14
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Re: ESPN losing subs (future of poker on ESPN?)

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Someone needs to get Greenland onboard, fast! Surely they can reverse the trend.
India would be a welcome addition.
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Old 12-21-2016, 03:44 PM   #15
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Re: ESPN losing subs (future of poker on ESPN?)

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The only thing that will cause a second poker boom would be PokerStars/Full Tilt coming to the US like it was in the old days.
Legalization and sites like CaesarsPalace/MGM/Wynn dot com would dominate the Market and tie in their B&M comps to their online players (and vica versa). Win/Win/BOOM!
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Old 12-28-2016, 04:07 PM   #16
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Re: ESPN losing subs (future of poker on ESPN?)

The underrated aspect of the WSOP for ESPN is that they can get hours of content from it. Even if the ratings aren't great on the first run, the re-air ratings do better than a lot of other content they could have. They don't use it for this as much as they used to, but they still get several runs out of each episode.

I'd still like to see them get back to the story telling side of it more. They seem to run the same story about the same three or four guys over and over. That's what made it relatable and so interesting back in the day. I suppose if Fernando Pons was American, they might have done more with it.
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Old 12-28-2016, 05:00 PM   #17
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Re: ESPN losing subs (future of poker on ESPN?)

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The underrated aspect of the WSOP for ESPN is that they can get hours of content from it. Even if the ratings aren't great on the first run, the re-air ratings do better than a lot of other content they could have. They don't use it for this as much as they used to, but they still get several runs out of each episode.

I'd still like to see them get back to the story telling side of it more. They seem to run the same story about the same three or four guys over and over. That's what made it relatable and so interesting back in the day. I suppose if Fernando Pons was American, they might have done more with it.
This. Also they seem to only focus on 3/4 of the nine players at the feature table, and as such often leave out more interesting hands not involving these 'featured' players, which is disappointing to me.
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Old 12-29-2016, 03:33 AM   #18
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Re: ESPN losing subs (future of poker on ESPN?)

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This. Also they seem to only focus on 3/4 of the nine players at the feature table, and as such often leave out more interesting hands not involving these 'featured' players, which is disappointing to me.
That's part of building story arcs, they just aren't as good at it now as they were back then... Also having a smaller field was helpful back in the day.

I also don't understand why they don't have a deal to televise like five final tables out of the ~60 events beyond the Main Event, then cherry pick the entertaining tables and post-produce it. They have the stage set up, they could set up the high quality cameras at the beginning of the WSOP instead of the end and just send the crew in day of to tape it. You'd get more broadcasts with famous/entertaining players and more opportunities to develop storylines around players.
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Old 01-03-2017, 02:57 PM   #19
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Re: ESPN losing subs (future of poker on ESPN?)

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The only thing that will cause a second poker boom would be PokerStars/Full Tilt coming to the US like it was in the old days.
No. There will never be another poker boom bc the skill gap is too high. Back in the day even the best were still figuring out the game. Now if an amateur dips his toe in he'll get crushed in relatively short order and won't tell his friends to play.
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Old 01-04-2017, 12:45 AM   #20
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Re: ESPN losing subs (future of poker on ESPN?)

Poker on TV had its day.
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Old 01-27-2017, 12:56 AM   #21
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Re: ESPN losing subs (future of poker on ESPN?)

I don't think we will see a TV peak like the boom years no, but there's still heaps of opportunity to promote poker on tv. Doesn't seem like theres the money to pay for advertising spots late at night without stars/tilt in the stars now though.
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Old 02-04-2017, 12:32 AM   #22
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Re: ESPN losing subs (future of poker on ESPN?)

Does anyone feel like the you miss the old coverage and production of the WSOP from back in the day?
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Old 02-04-2017, 04:04 AM   #23
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Re: ESPN losing subs (future of poker on ESPN?)

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No. There will never be another poker boom bc the skill gap is too high. Back in the day even the best were still figuring out the game. Now if an amateur dips his toe in he'll get crushed in relatively short order and won't tell his friends to play.
+1 IMO unless poker media moves away from NLH and starts promoting PLO, poker on TV will continue to dwindle. PLO is everything ESPN edits NLH into being. It's exciting and the amateur has a fighting chance. In what other game is a player having second or third nuts a nail bitter?

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Old 02-06-2017, 06:35 AM   #24
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Re: ESPN losing subs (future of poker on ESPN?)

As a media professional, I can't help but wonder if TV even a good broadcast medium for poker? Yeah, the ESPN coverage has been kind of fun, but for us nutters who watch it for the poker and to see what the tournament grinders are doing these days, there are a lot more better options. If you want to see poker rather than the latest human interest story, you probably want to see the whole texture instead of focusing on one or two players and only interesting hands. It almost like a paradox - you need to be more boring to be most entertaining to the core audience.

Streaming, I think, has surpassed TV completely for these reasons. It's also very suited for it because poker coverage is excessively easy to produce compared to a lot of things. You don't need moving cameras or microphones so basically a single tech person can set it all up and run the video mixer during the actual event. RFID cards make it trivial to broadcast hole cards, so you don't need much wizardry in anything. Streaming the final table can easily mean 12 hours of content without many running costs. Pretty sweet deal.

The only thing that the streamers are far behind is the sound editing. We miss on almost all the table talk that make the post-produced shows much more insightful. But I'm pretty sure they'll crack it eventually, the technology is there.

Having said all that, I think ESPN will continue to cover it exactly because it's cheap bang for the buck for them as well. They run much higher a cost than final table streamers, but it's still a heck of a lot of coverage where the same cost/content ratio works the same way.

And they know all this, I'm sure. Why else would they basically run a stream of the final table themselves? I wouldn't be worried unless the whole brand dives.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:23 AM   #25
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Re: ESPN losing subs (future of poker on ESPN?)

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Originally Posted by Dr. Meh View Post
Contract is up after next year. I'm guessing that will be the end of ESPN coverage. They'll either make a deal with FS1, Spike, or something similar or it will be streaming only on the WSOP site. Without a second boom, the popularity is dead as we know it.
In my opinion the next big boom will be smaller then the last one but it will get more people back into poker is when online becomes legal in more states in the US. Right now NJ has pokerstars and 888 which is still world wide and NV has WSOP and a few other casinos will be opening soon with there own version which is just NV and sucks IMHO. After that the quality poker shows will be on TV and streaming. It is hard to compare 2003 with the next big boom.

The only thing I like about WSOP online poker is no HUD's. I can not wait till Pokerstars gets approved in NV. The game selection is so much better.

The more people that watch it on TV will get more people addicted
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