Televised and live streaming coverage of the World Series of Poker will once again be in the expert hands of ESPN and PokerCentral in 2018. On Thursday, the two media companies announced the schedule for live television coverage of the series in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In the announcement, ESPN and Poker Central said they are bringing 170 hours of WSOP coverage to viewers straight from the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, including 40 hours on ESPN and ESPN2.
Footage of the WSOP Main Event not found on ESPN will once again be broadcast exclusively on PokerGO. The complete PokerGO live streaming schedule will be released at a later date.
“We’re ecstatic that ESPN and Poker Central continue to raise the bar and deliver more live poker content to audiences across the globe,” said Ty Stewart, executive director of the World Series of Poker. “Fans today demand immediacy and wall-to-wall coverage and this year’s offering delivers on that in spades.”
ESPN/ESPN2 Live WSOP Broadcast Schedule
|July 2||8:00 PM – 1:00 AM||WSOP Main Event: Day 1A||ESPN2|
|July 3||8:00 PM – 11:00 PM||WSOP Main Event: Day 1B||ESPN2|
|July 4||8:30 PM – 12:00 AM||WSOP Main Event: Day 1C||ESPN2|
|July 5||10:00 PM – 12:00 AM||WSOP Main Event: Day 2A/B||ESPN2|
|July 6||8:30 PM – 12:00 AM||WSOP Main Event: Day 2C||ESPN2|
|July 7||6:00 PM – 10:30 PM||WSOP Main Event: Day 3||ESPN2|
|July 8||2:00 PM – 6:00 PM||WSOP Main Event: Day 4||ESPN|
|July 9||10:00 PM – 2:00 AM||WSOP Main Event: Day 5||ESPN2|
|July 10||8:00 PM – 11:00 PM||WSOP Main Event: Day 6||ESPN|
|July 11||12:30 AM – 2:00 AM||WSOP Main Event: Day 7||ESPN2||Play down to the final table.|
|July 12||9:00 PM – END||WSOP Main Event: Day 8||ESPN||Play down to six players.|
|July 13||9:00 PM – END||WSOP Main Event: Day 9||ESPN||Play down to three players.|
|July 14||9:00 PM – END||WSOP Main Event: Day 10||ESPN||Play down to a winner.|
|July 17||12:00 AM – 2:00 AM||WSOP Big One for One Drop||ESPN2|
|July 17||7:00 PM – 9:00 PM||WSOP Big One for One Drop||ESPN2||Tape replay.|
|July 17||9:00 PM – END||WSOP Big One for One Drop||ESPN2|
|July 21||11:00 PM – 1:00 AM||WSOP Big One for One Drop||ESPN2||Tape replay.|
WSOP Main Event, Big One for One Drop coverage
Last year, ESPN broadcasted live, same-day coverage of the WSOP Main Event from start to finish for the first time. And by most accounts, it was a resounding success.
In an agreement with the WSOP that lasts through 2020, ESPN and PokerGO will bring similar extensive live coverage of the tournament to its airwaves this year and beyond.
The 2018 WSOP will include broadcast 40 hours of live coverage on ESPN and ESPN2. The coverage will consist of daily Main Event coverage from July 2 – July 14.
Additionally, ESPN will be providing live, same-day coverage of The Big One for One Drop on July 16-17.
The $1 million buy-in tournament returns to the WSOP schedule after a four-year hiatus. It is likely to attract the biggest names in poker, making it an excellent candidate for primetime audiences.
“ESPN has a long-running relationship with the World Series of Poker, and we are always looking for ways to bring viewers the most preeminent coverage,” said Doug White, ESPN senior director, Programming & Acquisitions. “By doubling down on our broadcast and digital platform coverage, we’re going to bring fans and viewers even closer to the sport’s biggest events from all aspects and angles.”
Bracelet event coverage on PokerGO
Outside of the ESPN coverage, Poker Central will produce 130 hours of coverage to be available through its subscription service, PokerGO.
“Last year, both ESPN viewership and PokerGO subscription numbers were very strong throughout the WSOP Main Event,” said JR McCabe, the chief digital officer of Poker Central, in a press release. “This year, we’re doubling down on live coverage of the World Series of Poker by adding the Big One for One Drop and bringing even more live poker to fans worldwide.”