SILVER SPRING, Md., Aug. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The Travel Channel today announced a long-term programming agreement with the WORLD POKER TOUR. Terms of the deal allow Travel Channel the rights to the second season of the popular series, and consecutive, exclusive options to broadcast five additional seasons of the program. The first season of the WORLD POKER TOUR, currently re-airing on Wednesday nights from 9-11 PM (ET/PT), consisted of 13 poker events filmed in casinos and card rooms around the world. The series revolutionized televised poker by offering expert analysis, varying camera angles and close-ups of the players' hole cards creating a whole new element of high-stakes, high-anxiety excitement. "The WORLD POKER TOUR is a real hit with viewers, and we are very excited to bring the series back for the foreseeable future," said Travel Channel's Executive Vice President and General Manager, Rick Rodriguez. "Poker has definitely gone mainstream, and the buzz this show has created about the game and our network is only getting louder. We hope that in moving forward with the series we can continue to illuminate the exciting world of competitive poker, and further appeal to the burgeoning segment of gaming travelers all across the country." "The great American card game has finally found a home," said Executive Producer and Founder of the World Poker Tour, Steven Lipscomb. "The WORLD POKER TOUR has, quite literally, revolutionized televised poker -- and is hands down the best poker on television. The Travel Channel has given us the support necessary to launch and build the next mainstream sports sensation and our long-term deal with the network is a monumental step in establishing the WORLD POKER TOUR as the preeminent brand in poker." The WORLD POKER TOUR continues to be a ratings juggernaut on the network -- with the season ending WORLD POKER TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP tied as the second highest rated individual program in the network's history. "Each time we've aired a WORLD POKER TOUR event, it has grown its audience -- often doubling its ratings over the two hour time slot," said Rodriguez. "This long term deal allows us to make WORLD POKER TOUR a popular weekly fixture on the network, and provides a great promotional platform for the network's wide array of programs and series." The WORLD POKER TOUR series airs on the Travel Channel every Wednesday, from 9-11 PM (ET/PT). The second season is currently in production and will begin airing in the first quarter of 2004. The WORLD POKER TOUR series is produced for the Travel Channel by World Poker Tour, LLC. Steven Lipscomb is the show's creator and serves as Executive Producer. Joe Swift is the Executive Producer for the Travel Channel. World Poker Tour, LLC is a joint venture between Lipscomb and Lakes Entertainment, Inc. (Nasdaq: LACO). The World Poker Tour was represented in the deal with Travel Channel by Shaun Clark of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, L.L.P. The Travel Channel is the only television network devoted exclusively to travel entertainment. Capturing the fascination, freedom and fun of travel, Travel Channel delivers insightful stories from the world's most popular destinations and inspiring diversions. It is available in more than 71 million homes and is a service of Discovery Networks, U.S., a unit of Discovery Communications, Inc.
SOURCE Travel Channel