The WPT seems unstoppable in its quest for new markets: first they cracked China – the largest population in the world – and now they are set to spread the poker fever over India, the second most populated country in the world.
The very popular World Poker Tour television program is on its seventh season, and it is licensed for international broadcast across the western hemisphere, so poker players on many countries can enjoy the good, the bad and the ugly of the top poker circuit. Now a further 1,000,000,000 people will be able to watch the world’s best players bluffing away, as the WPT gets a deal to air in one of India’s most popular sports channels: Zee Sports.
Zee Sports is the first private sports channel in the Indian subcontinent, as well as the flagship channel of the Zee Network, “the largest media franchise serving the South Asian Diaspora and the largest producer of Hindi programming in the world” according to their press release. Zee Entertainment Enterprises was named “the largest vertically integrated media conglomerate in the year 2005;” they have rights for some of the best sporting action from around the world and an in-house sports production team which is reportedly producing around 400 hrs of Live Sports Programming.
WPT Founder, President and CEO Steve Lipscomb is understandably delighted by this development, which will increase the WPT’s exposure and popularity to entirely new levels. He declared in the press release: “Zee Sports and WPTE together create a powerful partnership as the most trusted vehicles to introduce poker to India. We are delighted to be making history together.”
The Hindi-speaking public in India and abroad can look forward to watching nineteen WPT Season IV episodes starting in September 2008, which will hopefully include plenty of Hellmuth tantrums, Hansen bluffs and Brunson wisdom. The WPT episodes will be broadcast along popular current sports programming such as India’s beloved cricket, as well as tennis, motorsports and golf.
Zee Sport’s marketing team will promote the WPT on air and on the channel’s website, www.zeesports.co.in.