Poker Central Channel Is Folding

Poker Central, the newbie (October 2015) network built around poker players and enthusiasts, confirmed that its linear programming stream is shutting down at the end of this month.

The network, primarily funded by Cary Katz and featuring a programming mix of library shows from producers including World Poker Tour and new event programming and original series such as Pokerography and Live at the Bike!, had a distribution deal with the National Cable Television Cooperative and is carried on Buckeye Broadband and Sony's PlayStation Vue.

It had not announced other pay-TV distribution agreements but one person close to the network (who asked not to be identified) said deals with other pay-TV distributors had been signed and were scheduled to begin rolling out over the next several months. The decision, made by Katz, to pull the plug on the linear network was a surprise and a disappointment to network executives, the person said. Clint Stinchcomb, who had been the network's CEO, could not be reached for comment on the shutdown.

Poker Central also has launched apps on numerous over-the-top platforms, including Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV, but the live stream from the network that was part of the app content will end at the end of the month, Poker Central president Joe Kakaty said. Instead, viewers will continue to see a playlist of Poker Central programs (like Inside Poker With Matt Savage) available as free, ad-supported video on demand, he said.

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Kent Gibbons

Kent has been a journalist, writer and editor at Multichannel News since 1994 and with Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He is a good point of contact for anything editorial at the publications and for Before joining Multichannel News he had been a newspaper reporter with publications including The Washington Times, The Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal and North County News.