ESPN is upping the ante. Already well-known for airing tons of poker tournament coverage, the sports network is increasing its focus on Internet poker with a new web-only broadcast called “ESPN Inside Deal”, which debuts next week on Tuesday. (Coincidentally, that’s just a few days after the premiere of NBC’s new reality TV show which is centered around the poker world.)
The show, co-presented by PokerStars.net, has already lined up special guest Chris Moneymaker, gthe winner of the 2003 WSOP Event. The hosts will be ESPN.com columnist Bernard Lee, ESPN.com poker editor Andrew Feldman, and ESPN magazine’s Laura Lee.
The show will last three months, designed to segue into the network’s coverage of the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event final table in November.
What do you think? Will this broaden online poker’s popularity even more, bringing in more players for poker affiliates who are smart about marketing? Or is the web-only show too niche, and likely to appeal to only those already immersed in the world of Internet poker?