he new agreement features prime time national premiere airtimes of 8:00 PM and 11:00 PM on Sunday nights, as well as multiple repeat airings throughout the week. Additionally, WPT and FSN have agreed to extensive promotional advertising that will keep viewers up-to-date on new airings throughout the season. “Our network has long been a showcase for the best poker on television, and we are very happy WPT will continue that tradition.”
WPT’s Season 9 will premiere with its 179th episode in January 2011. Viewers will find a host of new enhancements to the series, including: the introduction of Kimberly Lansing in a new role as anchor of the show; a brash, yet-to-be-named new analyst, who will host a recurring segment called “The Raw Deal;” a new tour stop at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida; and the introduction of the Royal Flush Girls, who serve as on-set ambassadors and on-air fixtures for all of the WPT domestic stops.
“This season promises to be unlike any previous incarnations of the WPT,” said Steve Heller, CEO of WPT. “The shows will be faster-paced and edgier, featuring the biggest names in poker mixing it up with more up-and-coming stars, pre-final table action and, as always, poker’s greatest and most recognizable play-by-play commentary team of Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten.”
“As a leader in sports programming, FSN has been a great champion of the WPT and we are thrilled to make this long-term commitment as we celebrate a new day for the WPT,” said WPT President Adam Pliska. “The better airtimes, improved promotion and the increased number of repeat episodes promise to be a boon for fans and the perfect showcase for the exciting changes coming to the WPT starting in Season 9.”
“FSN is excited to remain the home for The World Poker Tour, which continues to deliver great ratings for our affiliates. WPT is one of the most respected brands in poker and will only grow stronger with the tremendous innovations they are bringing to the show in the new season,” said FSN VP of Programming David Sussin. "Our network has long been a showcase for the best poker on television, and we are very happy WPT will continue that tradition.”