GSN CEO David Goldhill said, “The World Poker Tour has been a great partner and the show continues to perform strongly on our network. We are continuing discussions with WPTE regarding how we may be able to work together – including perhaps broadcasting parts of Season VII.”
WPTE is currently in discussions with several major networks to broadcast programming from its landmark seventh season, which kicks off July 11 at the prestigious Bellagio in Las Vegas and runs through April 2009.
“We have enjoyed watching the show and our numbers grow on GSN. Our hope is that we can find ways to collaborate with the network long into the future,” said Steve Lipscomb, WPT Founder, President and CEO. “This may allow us the first opportunity to explore diversifying content on multiple networks like most sports leagues. We have already begun those discussions and look forward to making another season of the best and most widely distributed poker programming in the world to our dedicated viewers and fans.”
We are currently in discussions with a number of U.S. broadcasters regarding Season VII events. My hope is that this will make it possible for us to broaden and diversify our broadcast footprint in the United States. It is always difficult to change the fundamental structure of how you do business in a market, but in the long run, this could be very good news for the WPT and even better news for poker.
Twice now, the World Poker Tour television show has performed remarkably well on a U.S. cable network, only to fall prey to changes in programming direction and network management. We are now aggressively pursuing our strategic options.
GSN has been paying $300,000 per WPT episode, approximately equal to WPT Enterprises's production cost, an amount which is believed to exceed the advertising revenue from the show.
See also WPT Extends GSN's Option To Air Season 7 Of World Poker Tour, Reuters Article: "Poker shows face axe at GSN channel", and Why Travel Channel Dropped the World Poker Tour.