Roughly one year after pulling the plug on its cable network and going all OTT, Poker Central’s PokerGo is opening its own OTT production studio in Las Vegas.
The more than 10,000-square-foot facility is opening in May and will be located within the Aria on the Las Vegas Strip. The venue will include multiple sound stages, including a main studio, a break desk area and a streaming lounge. It will serve as production home to PokerGo’s live events, distributed on the company’s SVOD service, as well as for live esports events produced by ESP Gaming.
“Nearly a year ago we set out to create a digital-first poker network that would showcase some of the world’s best tournaments and lifestyle content—both on and off the felt,” said J.R. McCabe, chief digital officer of Poker Central, in a statement. “While this studio marks the fulfillment of that goal, it also doubles as a promise to our loyal viewers—to continually expand our programming slate, offer even more tournaments at all levels and get fans even closer to the mind sport they love.”
“With demand for our esports production services continuing to grow, we needed a home to host more tournaments and competitions at broadcast-quality levels so we could continue to deliver best-in-class esports content to audiences worldwide,” Jeff Liboon, president of ESP Gaming, said in a statement. “This partnership with Poker Central gives us the ability to bring the best in live esports to new fans and create a preeminent location for developers to elevate their leading titles from game to sport.”
In the past year, Poker Central has set broadcast partnerships with ESPN and NBC Sports Network in the U.S. as well as international licensing of the World Series of Poker and other Poker Central events to Doupai.tv in China. PokerGo also launched original programming co-productions including “Stories from the Felt,” “Super High Roller Club,” “Major Wager” and “Poker Nights.”
This all comes roughly one year after Poker Central in December 2016 shut down its cable network only 14 months after launching it.