22 Nov 2020 shivani

Poker Sports League in talks with Disney+ Hotstar, Jio TV for streaming rights

Poker Sports League (PSL) is in talks with various streaming platforms like Disney+ Hotstar, Zee5, Voot, Jio TV and MX Player for the tournament’s streaming rights. These platforms want to bank on the growing popularity of online poker tournaments in India.

PSL’s third season is set to go online on 16th January, due to cancellation of its on-ground event due to the ongoing pandemic. PSL will this time host an online event with matches spread across two months with 2-3 matches per week, instead of a 5-day on-ground event, as per a report in Mint.

“We are in talks with multiple OTT (over-the-top) platforms such as Disney+ Hotstar, Jio TV and Zee5. The sponsorship partner will be announced sometime next week," said Amit Burman, co-founder of Mind Sports League, the company that organizes the poker tournament. Burman is also the chairman of Dabur India Ltd.

“The bulk of our audiences are under 35 years of age who are digital natives and do not spend the majority of their time consuming content on television. It is a clear decision based on where our audiences are," said Pranav Bagai, CEO and co-founder, Mind Sports League.

Burman said that Poker Sports League has tested the production capability of the platform by organizing a virtual poker charity event.

PSL’s first two seasons were broadcasted on Discovery Communications India’s DSPORTS channel. This time, it was decided to stream the tournament on digital streaming platforms due to the gaining popularity of such streaming platforms, that have attracted 4-5 million paying subscribers in the past few months as per industry experts.

The online qualifiers for the third season of PSL are underway till November 22, to select a total of 80 players for eight teams. The owners of the teams will get one month to prepare their teams, and a bootcamp will be organized in the first week of January. Shoot kits will be sent to all the selected players to record their audio and video. The poker league will have a total prize pool of Rs. 1.8 Crore.

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