ESPN and Harrah's Interactive Entertainment, Inc. today announced they have reached a new seven-year agreement that will keep the World Series of Poker
) airing on ESPN through April 2018.
The World Series of Poker is the biggest poker event of the year.
WSOP, the world's richest sporting event and longest running poker tournament, attracts a total audience of nearly 82 million U.S. viewers each year.
Under the terms of the new deal, ESPN will telecast a minimum of 32 hours of event coverage from the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas annually, including a selection of WSOP gold bracelet events and the "November Nine" Championship.
"The WSOP is proud to call ESPN home for another nine years," said Jeffrey Pollack, President of Harrah's Interactive Entertainment and the World Series of Poker. "This long-term agreement ensures that our content will continue to reach sports fans around the world through every medium that matters."
WSOP content will be available to ESPN for the following platforms: ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN2, ESPN2 HD, ESPN Classic, ESPN.com, ESPN360.com, ESPN Mobile TV and ESPN International outlets outside of the United States.
"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."
ESPN has broadcast WSOP events every year since 2003 and was operating under an agreement set to expire at the end after the 2010 WSOP.
ESPN's coverage of the 40th Annual World Series of Poker Presented by Jack Link's Beef Jerky airs every Tuesday night on ESPN. Norman Chad and Lon McEachern call the action. Tonight at 8 PM ET, coverage of the game's richest tournament, the No Limit Hold'em Main Event begins as 6,494 players compete for $61 million in prize money with the winner walking away with $8.5 million – more than the U.S. Open golf, U.S. Open tennis, Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 winners received combined this year. Main Event coverage continues each Tuesday through November 10.