ESPN and Harrah's Interactive Entertainment have inked a deal that will keep the World Series of Poker on the ESPN networks through 2018. ESPN has aired the WSOP since 2003, and had an agreement with Harrah's that was set to expire after 2010.
Under the terms of the deal, ESPN will present at least 32 hours of programming from the WSOP annually, including the "November nine" Main Event final table. Last year ESPN and the WSOP decided to time shift the final table of the championship from the summer to November in an effort to keep the action fresh. Previously the winner would be crowned in the summer, with the action not happening on television till the fall.
Poker continues to be a solid ratings draw for the network, which reaches a total audience of about 82 million people each year.
"We are very excited to continue our relationship with Harrah's to deliver the largest, richest, and most prestigious gaming event in the world to fans across a variety of our platforms," said Doug White, senior director of programming and acquisitions, ESPN. "Poker continues to be a solid ratings performer for us and allows us to continue offering diverse programming to our viewers."
Financial terms were not disclosed.