WSOP: ESPN Unveils TV Schedule, WSOP Announces Improved Stream

The World Series of Poker is just about three weeks away and the excitement about the 43rd annual series just keeps building. The doors to the Rio will be opening soon, but those hoping to watch all the action on ESPN won’t have to wait too much longer either. The network recently announced the broadcast schedule for the 2012 WSOP with the television coverage kicking off on July 3rd.

This year’s coverage plan includes 29 one-hour episodes of three different bracelet events. The WSOPC National Championship, the Big One for One Drop, and the Main Event will all be featured. The million dollar buy-in Big One event will kick off the 2012 television season with four episodes of coverage spread over two weeks. That will be followed by one week of National Championship coverage with two one-hour episodes.

The Main Event coverage begins on August 14th and will run two hours of coverage each week until October 23rd. On October 30th, the final able will air live with hole cards on ESPN with a fifteen-minute delay. Lon McEachern, Norman Chad, and Kara Scott will be back as the broadcasting team for the season.

The only other event that will get the live treatment on ESPN is the final table of One Drop, which will be shown on ESPN3 on July 3rd. Unlike last year, where there was extensive live Main Event coverage, this year only the final table will get such treatment and the rest of the action will only be shown in the packaged programs airing on Tuesdays. In the WSOP conference call on Tuesday, WSOP Vice President Ty Stewart indicated that there was concern the live coverage was cannibalizing viewers of the packaged show.

While ESPN will be cutting back on live coverage, don’t think you won’t be able to watch the bracelet action in real time. Thursday the WSOP announced plans to stream the remainder of the bracelet events on WSOP.com. The two camera coverage with audio of the tournament director calling the action will be used for most of the non-flop games, while the WSOP will be stepping up their livestreaming game for the No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha action.

The new “primary” stream will feature a six camera setup as well as commentary on all the action. David Tuchman will be serving as the anchor on the primary stream and will be joined by a rotating panel of guest commentators.

The final table for the primary stream will be housed on the Amazon Room Main Stage, while the secondary and, in some cases, tertiary tables, will be set up on the Pavilion Stage and Amazon Press Box respectively. Most days there will be two streams running, but in some instances there will be three final tables going in order to accommodate all the bracelet action.

“It doesn’t get bigger or better than the World Series of Poker,” said Tuchman. “I am excited and humbled to be working with the WSOP to bring the live stream to a hungry and growing audience.”

The livestream will premiere on Memorial Day, May 28th, with the $500 buy-in Casino Employees Event.

Here is a look at the ESPN broadcast schedule for the 2012 WSOP. All times listed are ET:

Tue, July 3

3 pm – 2012 World Series of Poker: The Big One for One Drop Live on ESPN3

8 pm – 2012 World Series of Poker: The Big One for One Drop on ESPN

Tue, July 31

8 pm – 2012 World Series of Poker: The Big One for One Drop on ESPN
9 pm – 2012 World Series of Poker: The Big One for One Drop on ESPN

Tue, Aug 7

8 pm – 2012 World Series of Poker: WSOP National Championship on ESPN
9 pm – 2012 World Series of Poker: WSOP National Championship on ESPN

Tue, Aug 14

8 pm – 2012 World Series of Poker: Main Event on ESPN
9 pm – 2012 World Series of Poker: Main Event on ESPN

Tue, Aug 21

8 pm – 2012 World Series of Poker: Main Event on ESPN
9 pm – 2012 World Series of Poker: Main Event on ESPN

Tue, Aug 28

8 pm – 2012 World Series of Poker: Main Event on ESPN
9 pm – 2012 World Series of Poker: Main Event on ESPN

Wed, Sep 5

8 pm – 2012 World Series of Poker: Main Event on ESPN
9 pm – 2012 World Series of Poker: Main Event on ESPN

Tue, Sep 11

8 pm – 2012 World Series of Poker: Main Event on ESPN
9 pm – 2012 World Series of Poker: Main Event on ESPN

Tue, Sep 18

8 pm – 2012 World Series of Poker: Main Event on ESPN
9 pm – 2012 World Series of Poker: Main Event on ESPN

Tue, Sep 25

8 pm – 2012 World Series of Poker: Main Event on ESPN
9 pm – 2012 World Series of Poker: Main Event on ESPN

Tue, Oct 2

9 pm – 2012 World Series of Poker: Main Event on ESPN
10 pm – 2012 World Series of Poker: Main Event on ESPN

Tue, Oct 9

9 pm – 2012 World Series of Poker: Main Event ESPN
10 pm – 2012 World Series of Poker: Main Event ESPN

Tue, Oct 16

9 pm – 2012 World Series of Poker: Main Event on ESPN
10 pm – 2012 World Series of Poker: Main Event on ESPN

Tue, Oct 23

9 pm – 2012 World Series of Poker: Main Event on ESPN
10 pm – 2012 World Series of Poker: Main Event on ESPN

Tue, Oct 30

9 pm – 2012 World Series of Poker: Main Event Final Table Live on ESPN

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