After the recent successful conclusion of the Match Indian Poker League (MIPL), the upcoming Poker Sports League (PSL) has just inked their deal with Discovery Communications India’s sports channel DSport. Now with this deal finalised DSports has the exclusive rights to broadcast the second season of the league.
Match Indian Poker League was the very poker tournament series to have been televised after signing an agreement with the popular entertainment channel MTV, as their official broadcast partner. Following the successful footsteps of MIPL, now another poker league will air on national Indian television on a popular sports channel.
Previously this infamous poker league had seen mainstream success after being streamed live at their inaugural season, which gathered more than 4.5 million registered views on Facebook. The Poker Sports League final table recorded more 1.28 million views, which is staggeringly high. As per statistics this number is 10 percent higher than the WSOP 2015 Main Event Final Table views on ESPN.
The league is the brainchild of Dabur Vice Chairman Amit Burman who has paired with Adda52’s Anuj Gupta along with Pranav Bagai. Recently, PSL has been surfacing the news for quite some time and the industry insiders suggest, they are all for the right reasons.
The Grandmaster and Padma Vibhushan award winner Vishwanathan Anand was recently chosen as the brand ambassador of the Poker Sports League on December, 2017. Now after this announcement, the upcoming season is expected to be even bigger.
Talking about the new development, Amit Burman told the press “PSL’s biggest challenge has been to get over the preconceived notions on poker and change the public’s perception with regards to this mind sport. Hence, our positioning to promote the same has been clear from the very beginning and this will further be strengthened by broadcasted airing of the league on a sports channel. So, evidently the sports channel DSPORT’s with its wide coverage of international sporting properties made it the natural choice to be partnered with PSL.”
The brand ambassador for the league, Grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand echoed similar feelings. He said, “Poker as a skill-based sport has a lot of potential and it is about time that the Indian public realizes the same and gives the sport the kind of attention that it deserves. Poker Sports League is joining with DSports to take all the necessary steps in this direction.”
The news of this development has been headlining all poker news India as recently, the DSport Head of Business, T.S. Panesar stated, “Poker has always been broadcasted on sports channels across the globe, since 1978.
This will be a first for the Indian audience, which will help in changing the preconceived notion about the game. Considering the fact that PSL is the world’s first franchise-based poker league, we are excited to partner with DSports. We at the PSL team is committed to developing an amazing public-friendly show – to reach out to the sport lovers around the nation as well as across the subcontinent and make this an exceptional experience for them. We are elated to associate ourselves in this pioneering journey.”
Speaking on this association Pranav Bagai told the poker news live reporting press, “We are very excited to have tied up with DSPORT as our exclusive broadcasting channel partner for this upcoming season. The first season was a good proof for the concept behind the game last year. With that we wanted to test the potential of converting an individualistic sport into a team sport. Season 2 requires PSL to grow its reach much farther beyond the online platform in order to be connected with every possible poker enthusiast out there. Now anybody who even knows a little bit about poker can prove their skill by qualifying through free live qualifiers or free online qualifiers, which began last month and will continue until March, 2018 in PSL.”
Bagai further stated to a popular online poker news site, that he is super excited about this association, it is the perfect deal for them, with them being broadcasted on a sports channel. PSL will be much bigger and better this year. Bagai believes that Poker Sports League will be much bigger and better this year and it is a start of many better things to come into the poker industry.
The try-outs and qualifiers for drafting the players for the twelve-city based franchise have already begun on Adda52, which is stipulated to continue till April 23rd. each and every team member will consist of a playing captain or a mentor along with two pro players, two qualifiers from live satellites, two wild card entries and three from online satellites. The second season finale is scheduled to begin in May, 2018 where all the 12 teams will compete for a total prize-pool of almost INR 3.60 crores.