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BskyB Alum’s Gamble on Poker
A group of former BSkyB executives will lay their
cards on the table today with the launch of a new UK digital satellite
channel dedicated to poker programming.
In a bid to capitalise on the game’s increasing popularity, piqued by
series such as the Celebrity Poker Club and the rise of online casinos,
The Poker Channel officially goes live this afternoon on Sky.
The station has been set up by former Sky Ventures commercial manager
Crispin Nieboer, former head of Sky Music Chiara Cipriani and Sky
producer James Hopkins.
The Poker Channel will rely on originated programming, rather than
attempting to compete with the likes of Flextech-owned Challenge for
rights to Celebrity Poker Club, or Discovery for the World Poker Tour.
The company, which is backed by two business angels and an unnamed
venture capitalist, has already commissioned several series.
In the UK, indie Luckbox is producing three (16×30′) series, Bar Beat,
Up Close and Poker Godfather. Zeal TV has secured an order for Barney’s
Home Game (13×60′), featuring Hendon mobster Barney Boatman. US producer
Artist Tribe, meanwhile, is behind a fly-on-the-wall documentary series
called Beyond the Felt (13×30′).
But The Poker Channel’s main focus will on live games, according to
Nieboer, the company’s ceo.
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2004 Online Casino News Archive