World Poker Tour sold to Party Gaming

Online gaming conglom pays $12.3 million for TV rights

World Poker Tour, which airs its events on Fox Sports Net, has been sold to online gaming conglom Party Gaming.

Party Gaming paid $12.3 million in cash for WPT in addition to 5% of all future gaming revenue and 5% of ancillary earned by WPT, which will continue as its own entity under the Party Gaming umbrella.

WPT is about to enter its eighth season of televising poker tournaments from around the world. Previously, org was a top draw on Travel Channel for five seasons before moving over for a year to GSN.

Takeover was amicable as both entities have worked together in the past. WPT said it earns 30% of sponsorship revenue from Party Gaming.

WPT recently changed its TV format, switching from a two-hour event to two one-hour shows when telecasting a “final table” — where up to nine players play until a winner is crowned.

“The purchase made sense for both properties,” said Rohin Malhotra, who has managed WPT leading up to the acquisition. “It’s the marrying up of two brands, and it’s a natural evolution.”

WPT events are televised in 150 markets globally and reaches an aud of 400 million.

Poker has been a hot property on cable since Chris Moneymaker won the “World Series of Poker” main event on ESPN in 2003. The cabler concluded this year’s “WSOP” Tuesday night when 21-year-old Joe Cada earned $8.5 million to become the youngest player ever to win.