Poker Central launched at the end of 2015 and promoted itself as a unique 24/7 poker only dedicated television channel that would broadcast special poker programming and bring a new experience to poker viewers. The channel was funded primarily by Cary Katz, a poker pro who had more than $9.4 million in career prize money.
Poker Central – NBC Sports Partnership
Things did not go as per plan and Poker Central announced towards the end of 2016 that it had decided to shut down its dedicated poker channel as it felt that it had to change its broadcasting strategy in order to cater to the current market. The company stated that its closure was not final and promised to partner with television networks like NBC Sports Network and the CBS Sports Network to continue its coverage of the poker industry.
Poker Central has kept its promise by confirming a partnership agreement with NBC Sports Network. The new media rights agreement gives NBC the rights to broadcast Poker Central’s programming via its television and online media platforms. NBC is expected to start airing Poker Central programming every Monday night and broadcasting should start by the summer of 2017.
Super High Roller Bowl
One of the key events that will be broadcast is the Poker Central Super High Roller Bowl that has a buy-in of $300,000. The event is expected to attract most of the top poker players in America and around the world along with one mysterious celebrity poker player. Poker Central announced the special high-roller event earlier this year and confirmed that the prize pool for the event will be over $16 million. The event sold out in less than 24 hours and 56 players have been confirmed for the event. The winner of the Super High Roller Bowl is expected to take home $6 million in prize money.
NBC will broadcast the Super High Roller Bowl and other high stakes poker events during the coming months and Poker Central will continue to put together unique programming content that providers viewers with top quality poker content.
Poker Central Criticism
Poker Central had a long promotional build up before its launch and as a result created a lot of expectation within the poker community. However when the network launched, poker fans and many viewers were disappointed with the network and felt that Poker Central had promised a lot but delivered very little. They found that a lot of the content being streamed online was old content and had been broadcast by other TV networks in the past. Viewers also found it difficult to access the network as it was limited to few online platforms such as Amazon Fire TV,, Roku tv and Xbox One Streaming.
Viewers felt that Poker Central brought nothing new to the poker scene as very little original content was being broadcasted. Poker Central took heed to the initial feedback and promised to make amends but the damage had already been done and the channel found it difficult to bounce back and recapture the attention of its viewers.
Katz announced towards the end of 2016 that he recognized that Poker Central’s audience were the millennials who were not looking at re-runs and basic programming but wanted Poker Central to start developing unique shows of its own and broadcasting the same. Katz decided that the channel could not invest the amount of money required at that point of time to come up with consistent original programming and as a result decided to go in with a new strategy that would involve teaming up with television networks that had a wide audience and then using that platform to broadcast poker content.
Digital Streaming
NBC stated that its partnership with Poker Central will allow the channel to broadcast quality poker programming to its existing poker viewer base and will also bring in new poker fans. NBC will also be using its digital platforms to stream online poker programming from Poker Central. Poker Central has also confirmed that it will continue to stream poker programming across all of its digital platforms.
Poker Central is also reportedly in talks with other companies to work out a similar media rights agreement that would allow their networks to also broadcast Poker Central programming. The company will release specific information once those agreements are finalized.

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