The poker world is once again discussing a new topic. The question this time around is whether a festival like the WSOP, especially the Main Event Final Tableexclusive broadcast rights should be >paid for by the platform.
The issue was driven by the opinion of popular chess streamer and player Alexandra Botez, who said on social networks that poker will see greater growth, If broadcasting was free.
Botez criticism centered on PokerGO, the platform where the company owns the rights to broadcast the WSOP. At issue is whether rights holders have a responsibility to push the game forward and attract more people during the most prestigious tournament of the year.
Paying for the greatest spectacle in all of sports will inevitably lead to its diminishing relevance.
Fifty years ago, half of humanity watched a heavyweight boxing match (Ali’s most-watched match had 2 billion viewers). Meanwhile, the largest boxing match has over a million people…
— Alexandra Botez (@alexandrabotez) July 15, 2023
“When you pay The sports world sees it when watching the greatest show, and that’s how it will be.” This inevitably leads to a loss of meaning.
Fifty years ago, half the world watched heavyweight boxing (Ali’s most-watched fight had 2 billion viewers). Today, the biggest boxing fights rarely break 1 million views.
While I understand that PokerGO’s decision to pay for the WSOP Main Event is purely commercial, I think it is short-sighted. Salaries for top fighters may be higher than ever these days, but the sport’s cultural clout is a fraction of what it used to be, a trend that’s unlikely to reverse.
I hope that in the future the WSOP will have the foresight to award the Main Event broadcast rights to ensure everyone can watch the final table. This seems to be important not only to the health of the sport, but also to good commercial prospects, as more viewers will certainly lead to more participation and sponsorship. ”
As expected, many other athletes also expressed their willingness to share their opinions to comment on this topic. Among them, Joy Ingram, Nick Shu Erman, Gary Blackwood and others give their for or against what the behavior of chess players expresses.