Re-runs of classic World Poker Tour (WPT) events are now streaming 24/7 to eSports fans and the tech-savvy courtesy of Theta.tv.
The tournament operator announced its latest partnership on May 1. As per the press release, the deal with Theta Labs gives the WPT another way to reach streaming audiences around the world.
What’s unique about the link-up is that Theta.tv is a blockchain platform that counts eSports as its core demographic.
WPT Exploring New Markets and Technology
This isn’t the first time the WPT, eSports, and blockchain technology have converged. In 2018, the WPT struck up a relationship with FansUnite Entertainment Inc.
The blockchain-based sportsbook was the WPT’s first foray in the world decentralized platforms. The move was partly inspired by the Bitcoin boom of 2017. As the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, blockchain innovations spiked during that time.
With money flooding into the market as the price of major cryptos surged, new ideas gained prominence. Blockchain betting technology was one such idea, and that led the WPT to partner with FansUnite.
That link-up fed into a secondary deal with eSports network, QYOU Media. With FansUnite and the WPT getting exposure across QYOU’s online TV channels, the seeds of something new were being sown.
Fast-forward to 2020 and the WPT has doubled down on its cross-channel marketing strategy. As of May 1, shows are available to watch for free, 24/7 via Theta.tv.
The content is nestled among a library of eSports streams, and marks Theta’s first move into other types of sports content. The deal should also help to create a system of reciprocal value for all involved.
Peer-to-Peer Power for Poker Fans
Because Theta.tv uses peer-to-peer blockchain technology, information is decentralized and that, in turn, means the streams can run indefinitely. The system also provides mutual benefits for streamers and viewers.
In simple terms, blockchain’s don’t contain a central point of authority. Instead, each user in the network is a node, and “power” is distributed evenly across these nodes. When viewers watch content on Theta.tv, they automatically share some of their upload bandwidth with the network.
This keeps the platform running and also creates a system of shared value. In return for sharing bandwidth, users are rewarded with a cryptocurrency known as Theta Fuel (TFuel). The more content someone watches and shares, the more they can earn.
Streamers are also entitled to a share of the credits paid to those watching their content. The end result is a self-powering network where everyone gets something for their time online.
The nuances of blockchains might be unfamiliar to the average poker player. However, it’s something the WPT is banking on to increase its profile.
In addition to attracting poker fans and eSports enthusiasts, the relationship with Theta could entice those with an interest in crypto technology. Moreover, at a time when people are forced to stay indoors, the WPT currently has a chance to increase its fanbase more than it otherwise would have.