World Poker Tour Enterprises executives have been busy at this year's National Association of Television Program Executives convention, which wrapped up last week at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The gathering is a chance for groups and organization with programming to offer for television to sell those offerings to the people who put them on the small screen. As such, WPTE was there to offer international rights for the highly successful World Poker Tour seasons as well as the yet to be broadcast first season of the Professional Poker Tour.
The stay for WPTE in Las Vegas was a successful one for them as they were able to open up broadcasting rights for the WPT in six more countries around the world. Canal+ in France, SBT in Brazil, Europa TV in Italy, BETV in Belgium, 365 Media in Iceland, TV Norge in Norway and Chello Media in the Netherlands join in with ITV4 in the United Kingdom to bring the best of the poker world to the viewers in their own specific countries. All total, the World Poker Tour now is broadcast in 130 countries around the world.
"Our WPT shows are proving to be a winning venture for all of our broadcast partners," proudly stated Steve Lipscomb, the CEO and founder of WPT Enterprises, Inc. "There is tremendous interest in our format, with the first of our global tours in the Philippines to launch very soon and there is continued interest in the PPT."
WPTE has been very aggressive and successful in their marketing of poker throughout the world. They have maximized the value of "WPT" brand globally with worldwide publicity, an internationally viewed website at www.worldpokertour.com, the recently launched international gaming website in WPTonline.com and an extensive lineup of licensed consumer products now selling in Europe, Asia and Australia as well as the United States.
"2005 was a watershed year for WPTE in the international market," said Gary MacKinney, WPTE Executive Director of International Sales, who also announced the continuation of WPTE's alliance with Alfred Haber Distribution, Inc., as the international sales agent for WPTE. Robert Kennedy, Executive Vice President, Alfred Haber Distribution, Inc., was also excited with what the future offers for WPTE and his organization. "We are proud and pleased be in collaboration with Season Four of the World Poker Tour, the originator and leader of televised poker. The WPT brand is recognized around the globe and continues to be a phenomenal success at the top of the genre that they have created."
While there is still a great deal of success for the WPT telecasts and the four years of televised poker that they have to offer, the future is still a little bleary for the Professional Poker Tour. As they have yet to find a home for the "all star" poker tour in the United States, its future is still in question. All in all, however, the recent NATPE convention would have to be looked at as a tremendous success for WPTE and for poker as a whole.
Ed note: Vince Van Patten of the World Poker Tour plays at Hollywood Poker