Poker Central launched its nonstop coverage 24 hours a day, seven days a week on its dedicated television channel at the end of 2015. The channel will have lasted a little more than a year, as the Las Vegas entrepreneur and poker player, who primarily funded the channel, decided to shut down the television channel at the end of 2016.
Cary Katz, with almost $9.4 million in live tournament prizes to his name according to The Hendon Mob, is likely a familiar name to anyone following nosebleed action, especially as of late. In the early part of October 2016, he appeared on the final table in back-to-back events in the Aria High Roller Poker Festival including a fourth-place finish in the $25,000 Aria High Roller 42 for $90,240 and a runner-up finish in the $25,000 Aria High Roller 43 for $224,640.
A week later, Katz flew out to Monte Carlo to play in the Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza, where he won €1,750,000 ($1,929,204) for a fifth-place finish in The Big One for One Drop Invitational, a €1,000,000 buy in, three-day, invitation-only tournament for businessmen and philanthropic and celebrity recreational players.
In addition to television programming on its dedicated channel, Poker Central also hosted its content on a variety of over-the-top apps including Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. While this will continue, as of 2017, it will no longer include a live stream from its dedicated television channel.
Viewers will be able to continue to see free programming over the apps of unique Poker Central programming along with on-demand videos which will be supported with advertising.
According to NewBay’s platform, Multichannel News, Poker Central president Joe Kakaty described the recent decision as a “digital pivot” to focus on providing its younger audience more of what they want.
“We saw our millennial audience wanted more content. But they wanted new, original content,” Kakaty shared with Multichannel News. “The legacy part of our business is not a place where we wanted to put our resources.”
Kakaty also explained that Poker Central events will continue to be broadcasted on television, just not on their own dedicated channel. Instead, Poker Central will take advantage of partnerships with NBC Sports Network, CBS Sports Network and perhaps other channels in the future.
“TV is not going away — it’s just how we’ll work with TV that is going to change,” Kakaty said to Multichannel News.
The recent Poker Central Charity Shootout, an event that raised $85,000 for charities, was broadcast on Dec. 3 on the PokerCentral Twitch Channel and Amazon.com before being rebroadcast on CBS Sports Network on Dec. 12 and 13.
“TV is not going away — it’s just how we’ll work with TV that is going to change.”
Poker Central also produced the $100,000 Super High Roller Celebrity Shootout, an event won by Vanessa Selbst for $1 million, for NBC Sports Network in the summer of 2015 or months before the launching of its own dedicated channel.