WPT scores big on NBC

Feb 10, 2004 1:03 AM

The debut of the World Poker Tour on network television proved to be an unqualified success. Establishing that the public’s growing appetite for the World Poker Tour has only just begun to be tapped, The Travel Channel’s World Poker Tour Battle of Champions on NBC scored a whopping 3.0 overnight rating on Sunday, watched by more than ten million estimated viewers.

Second only to the Super Bowl pre-game show in the 4-6 p.m. time slot, The World Poker Tour showed that its ratings juggernaut on The Travel Channel is no fluke.

The network debut of the skillfully crafted series that has taken the nation by storm scored so impressively that it will drive momentum for the launch of the World Poker Tour’s second season March 3 on The Travel Channel.

"I think this is another important step in establishing the World Poker Tour as the next major televised sports sensation," said WPT founder, producer and CEO Steve Lipscomb. "As our audience grows, so does the excitement about the sport.

"It’s not just about poker." Lipscomb continued, "It’s about the WPT’s brand of televised poker, which is driving America’s passion for the game. It’s about how we tell the story, build the drama and make the viewer feel that he is sitting in the seat making the million-dollar decision. Our mix of the WPT Cam to reveal players’ hole cards, 17 cameras, expert commentary, top quality production values, and that magic thing that happens in the editing room all combine to make this show a hit. The World Poker Tour continues to set the standard for poker on television."

The World Poker Tour, launched in March 2003, has transformed poker into a televised mainstream sports sensation, creating record-setting ratings and capturing millions of new fans for America’s favorite card game.

Conceived by Lipscomb and co-owned by Lakes Entertainment of Minneapolis, a leader in management of Indian gaming casinos, The World Poker Tour was the first show to raise televised poker to the level of true entertainment.