WPT/GSN Decision Postponed

by , May 28, 2008 | 1:54 pm

It seems that the WPT/GSN renewal decision has been postponed until June 7th.

As May 24th came and went, no word… but the Poker King reported that WPT Enterprises filed papers with the SEC today to note an amendment to the WPT/GSN agreement. This allows the previous deadline of May 24th to be extended to June 7th.

Completely speculative reasons (multiple choice):

A. WPT and GSN executives simply too busy to discuss minor details like TV show contracts
B. GSN wants to pay less money or dump the show; WPT needs more time to negotiate
C. WPT is not being picked up and wants to wait until after the WSOP begins in order to fade the news
D. WPT and GSN are in the middle of a love fest; GSN is throwing wads of cash at WPT, too much to have counted by May 24

16 Comments to “WPT/GSN Decision Postponed”

  1. Kevin Mathers

    B definitely is the most realistic. In other poker on TV related news, NBC signed a 4 year deal with Caesars (f/k/a Harrah’s) to continue broadcasting the National Headsup Poker Championship.

  2. son of sue

    Jen, just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your work. You are far and away the best thing about Pokerati.

  3. California Jen

    Thank you, son of sue! You are right, errr, I mean kind.

  4. Karridy

    What, SOS…!? Didn’t you see my last submission?

  5. olivert

    A combination of B and/or C, with C being more probable than B.

    (I don’t see GSN offering WPT more than $200,000 per episode if GSN were to offer WPT anything at all to renew.)

    If GSN had wanted to pick up the option at the sticker price (i.e. more than $300,000 per episode), it would have done so several weeks ago.


    As for NBC Heads-Up: it lives on for another year. (I interpret the announced “4 year” venue deal with Caesars as a one-year ironclad deal with options for 3 additional years.)

    The 2008 season average came in at just above 1.0% household ratings average.

    The challenge for NBC Heads-Up in 2009: find a way to turn the ratings around so that it doesn’t slip below 1.0%.

  6. son of sue

    While that was the best post ever, Jen is the best poster ever. You understand.

  7. DanM

    I think Pokerdoodle is clearly the best thing about Pokerati:

  8. Poker on TV

    Sounds like they won’t return to GSN to me. People often try to conceal the negative news, e.g. Mori saying that HSP could come back some day. I suspect there will be even less news in two weeks than there was now.

  9. olivert

    > (I don’t see GSN offering WPT more than $200,000 per episode if GSN were to offer WPT anything at all to renew.)

    I need to correct myself.

    I don’t see GSN offering WPT more than $100,000 per episode if GSN were to offer WPT anything at all to renew.

    Knowing that a targeted 30-second “scatter” ad spot during the 2 Monday night airings of WPT on GSN combined cost around $3000, and that there are a total of 40 30-second ad spots per show (for 20 minutes worth of national ads), the two Monday airings of WPT on GSN combined would generate $120,000 worth of ads assuming that all the ads slots are filled with targeted ads (ad slots that are filled with “run of station”, or ROS, ads are worth less than that.)

  10. DanM

    Oliver, do you not have any faith in GSN’s seeing the support on the internet to reconsider their decision?

  11. olivert

    Right now, GSN is losing money on the WPT Season 6 deal. (I’ll let you do your own math to figure out what the loss is.)

    There is absolutely no way GSN can make money by picking up the Season 7 option at the sticker price.

    The asking price for WPT Season 7 will obviously have to come down in order for the numbers to work for GSN.

    The problem: WPT’s production cost is high enough to the point where any reasonable amount of cost-cutting by WPT will not result in a profit for GSN if GSN were to cover 100% of WPT’s production cost.

  12. Poker on TV

    IIRC the WPT spends $300K or so to produce each episode.

  13. DanM

    Very interesting … so it might just be a matter of renegotiation … OK, I’ll buy that. At least temporarily.

  14. menacing_1

    Stumbled on this thread only to find a poster who seems to have drastically changed his opinion of the WPT’s future as opposed to what he posted on 2+2. Over there, this poster said that the WPT was drawing twice as many viewers as HSP did, that they would have no problem collecting the bonuses offered for drawing an average of 500,000 viewers per episode, and that in fact they would “walk all over” those numbers. He’s the same poster who claimed that GSN “officially” cancelled HSP weeks ago, when in fact that is simply not the case, and who said that NBC “clearly” could not be satisfied with the ratings for NHPC and that he doubted NBC would renew the show.

    Well, he was as wrong there as he is in his assumptions about the 4 year deal NBC just signed for the NHPC. I don’t know about you, but I will take the word of the people at NBC and at Caesars Palace over this poster who habitually puts out erroneous statements that he claims are factual when in fact they are nothing more than his own delusional thinking.

  15. DanM

    Are you talking about Cousin Oliver? He’s only crazy some of the time.

  16. menacing_1

    True. And the times that he isn’t I have the utmost respect for him and the wealth of information he shares.