NBC Sports Group is putting down chips on the poker felt.
The NBCUniversal sports media division struck an agreement with Poker Central to present Poker Central programming across its TV and digital platforms. The move comes after Poker Central in late 2016 pulled the plug on its own linear network, after garnering only limited distribution.
Poker Central programming will debut on NBCSN (formerly called NBC Sports Network) on Monday nights as soon as summer with the Super High Roller Bowl, set to run May 28-31 in Las Vegas, along with other high-stakes poker events. In addition, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app for mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs will provide streaming coverage for Poker Central content.
A rep for Poker Central said the company has additional TV distribution deals in the works, but declined to provide details. Owners of the privately held company include Cary Katz — a top professional poker player and founder of College Loan Corp., who launched Poker Central in 2015 — and poker pros Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth and Antonio Esfandiari.
Poker has been a reliable draw on TV for ESPN, which has broadcast World Series of Poker events since the late ’80s.
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You can also try their skills at the new online poker site, 21Heads Up, where players compete in a head-to-head blackjack-type of competition.