WPT takes on Travel Channel for breach of contract

NEW YORK — Officials of the World Poker Tour have sued the Travel Channel and its Discovery Communications parent for breach of contract.

The WPT claims in its suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, that the Travel Channel has used threats to damage the World Poker Tour’s negotiations with ESPN over a separate “Professional Poker Tour” series that the WPT created.

The World Poker Tour says it has the right to sell this new series because its exclusive negotiating period with Travel had expired.

But Travel Channel claims that a clause in its WPT contract referring to “elements” of the World Poker Tour encompasses the “Professional Poker Tour” series. WPT disagrees, saying that elements means only outtakes and other footage shot at the World Poker Tour itself, not a separate TV series.

What the WPT says is a “threatening letter” sent by Travel Channel to ESPN on Thursday has had the effect of “interfering” with the World Poker Tour’s “pending and anticipated contract and relationship with ESPN.”

The WPT is asking the court for unspecified damages and for a ruling on whether Travel Channel or the World Poker Tour is correct in its interpretation of the word “elements” in their contract.

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