Voot, the Viacom 18 Media Pvt. Ltd-owned streaming platform, will broadcast the much-delayed Season 3 of the Poker Sports League (PSL).
Zee5, Disney+Hotstar, Jio TV and MX Player were also in talks to acquire the PSL rights.
Due to COVID-19, the third edition of the league will be played online and has led to various format changes. Instead of the typical five-day on-ground event, the virtual league will have eight teams playing over two months with two-to-three matches per week, starting 16 January. We previously reported on other changes and challenges facing Season 3.
Several sponsors for the event and the teams have been revealed. According to Dabur India Ltd chairman Amit Burman, Esports platform Pocket52 is to be the title sponsor. Burman is also the co-founder of Mind Sports League, which runs the poker tournament.
"I believe the audience that poker appeals to is well-aligned with Voot. The OTT platform already has an experience in hosting gaming and reality shows which makes it a perfect fit for us," Burman said.
"Skill-based online games are capturing the imagination of the country and as a platform which has a relatively younger viewer base, we are automatically aligned with these games," said Gourav Rakshit, chief operating officer of Viacom18 Digital Ventures.
"Poker, in particular, offers excitement and drama to the audience. We will target poker groups on social media and digital platforms as well, to draw more traffic to the league. Our aim is to evangelize and get as many people to see the tournament as possible this year. Once it becomes a spectator show, then there's definitely a larger monetisation opportunity. This season, our focus is on reach and getting repeat viewers," added Rakshit.
Online poker platform PokerDangal will sponsor the Kolkata Kings side, while the Mobile Premier League (MPL) are sponsoring both Goan Nuts and Mumbai Anchors.
Goan Nuts were the winners of PSL Season 2, way back in May 2018.