ESPN and PokerGO Make It Easier to Binge Watch WSOP Main Event (Live)

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Fans of the World Series of Poker Main Event will be able to see a lot more of it, as tournament officials announced Wednesday that they will be providing daily live coverage, from start to finish.

Lon McEachorn and Norm Chad
WSOP stalwarts Lon McEachern and Norman Chad will be back for ESPN, but won’t be going it alone for the first broadcast of the Main Event in a post-November Nine era. Filling out the coverage schedule will be a crew from PokerGO, a new app-based subscription service promising 60 additional hours of live Main Event action. (Image: ESPN)

The marquee tournament, which features an estimated $60 million prize pool and $8 million first prize, will begin on July 8 and end on July 22, with the final three players facing off until there is a winner.

It will be the first time in the event’s 48-year history that broadcast coverage will include daily live footage.

Per gaming regulations, viewers will see the action on a 30-minute delay on ESPN, ESPN 2, and PokerGO. The two sports channels will provide coverage for cable and satellite subscribers at no extra cost.

The PokerGo app for mobile phones, tablets, and computers will offer additional live coverage on-demand, but requires either a $10 monthly or $99 annual subscription.

In total, there should be approximately 100 hours of live coverage. ESPN and ESPN 2 will feature 40 or so hours, WSOP officials said, while PokerGO will carry 60 hours of play.

Unprecedented Exposure

Norman Chad, Lon McEachern, and Kara Scott anchor all WSOP coverage from the Rio in Las Vegas. They’ll be joined by a rotating cast of player analysts throughout the tournament. Those roster and schedule for pro personalities in the broadcast booth depends in part on who busts out when in the Main Event.

WSOP officials told CardsChat that Antonio Esfandiari, Daniel Negreanu, and Phil Hellmuth will be the primary three player-analysts, and they’ll be joined by up to a dozen others along the way.

Leading the PokerGO team’s coverage will be Nick Schulman and Ali Nejad.

The televised structure will have PokerGo kicking off telecast duties on all but one day in the tournament’s first week. They will go live at either 11am, 11:30 am, or 12:30 pm PT, for anywhere from two to six hours.

Then ESPN and ESPN2 will pick up prime-time duties for two to four hours. PokerGO will wrap up evening coverage for three days for 30 to 75 minutes.

ESPN takes over the bulk of the airtime in the second week. ESPN2 will air a final table preview show, as well as the final table until only six players remain. At that point ESPN will broadcast the rest of the tournament until a new champion is crowned.

Entertainment Extras

In addition to on-the-felt tournament coverage, all three channels will provide some form of extra video content. ESPN will air more traditionally edited shows starting in September, featuring highlights from the Main Event as well as previously unaired footage to helps tell the eventual champion’s story navigating their way to the final table.

PokerGO will host archives of other 2017 WSOP final tables for on-demand streaming, as well as after-the-fact live coverage for those who may have missed the first showing.

The new PokerGO app comes from the minds of Poker Central, a rising digital media enterprise that debuted its PokerGO technology in May for the Super High Roller Bowl at the Aria.

The WSOP Main Event will be the second live event made available via their subscription-only service.

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