WPT Opening Doors in Europe with BT Sport and 888poker

The World Poker Tour (WPT) has stepped up its presence in Europe after signing deals with two major brands.

WPT BT Sport

The WPT will be broadcast on BT Sport in the UK and Ireland, opening up the game to more sports fans. (Image: UK PC Mag)

First to ink a deal with the US-based poker tour was broadcaster BT Sport. One of the largest suppliers of televised sports content in the UK, BT Sport will now show a selection of WPT events.

BT Sport to Highlight WPT Success

As per the February 7 press release, Season XV will form the basis of the initial run. Highlights of the schedule will include Sam Panzica’s double-winning season and Mike Sexton’s first ever WPT title.

As well as giving fans in the UK and Ireland a new way to watch poker, the broadcast deal is part of the tour’s wider ambitions. By aligning with a network that provides coverage of major sports, including soccer, boxing and the UFC, the WPT will be exposed to a new demographics.

“As the World Poker Tour continues to expand on a global scale, BT Sport will play a significant role in putting the World Poker Tour in front of a new audience,” said the WPT’s manager of content distribution in the UK, Richard Sarris.

Alongside its deal with BT Sport, the tournament brand has struck up a relationship with 888poker. Announced on February 11, the link up will see the online poker operator act as co-sponsor for the WPTDeepStacks Tour in Europe.

Spread over a three-years, the deal will increase the number of European events and offer a new selection of online qualifiers. To mark the deal, stops in Malta and Portugal have been added to the 2019 WPTDeepStacks Europe.

Tour Continues to Grow

By working with two major European brands, the WPT is looking to increase its growth. The company recently hosted its inaugural tournament in Russia, following 2018’s innovations in Asia such as WPT Japan.

In addition to bolstering its schedule of live events, the poker company has moved outside of its comfort zone. Back in October 2018, the poker operator announced a partnership with blockchain sportsbook, FansUnite.

From a business perspective, the WPT’s evolution is helping to stabilize its bottom-line and attract more people to its events. However, this movement into new areas is also helping poker as a whole.

By working with non-poker businesses and infiltrating new markets, it’s opening up the game to more people.

2018 proved to be a bumper year for poker with records being broken online and at the World Series of Poker (WSOP). The WPT is looking to build on this momentum and work with its new partners to build a stronger fanbase in Europe.

Written by
Daniel Smyth
Dan Smyth is a poker media journeyman who politely reminds CardsChat readers that poker is played all around the world, not just America.

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