Have Streaming Services Monopolized Poker Viewership?

Have Streaming Services Monopolized Poker Viewership?

14 Jan

Image courtesy of PokerNews.com

Despite its once household place on cable television, the European Poker Tour (EPT) may have a new home.

With free streaming services like Twitch, YouTube, and even Facebook being the home of all things poker content these days, perhaps the EPT on Channel 4 is a thing of the past.

The popularity of poker on Twitch cannot be understated. Lex Veldhuis, arguably the most popular poker streamer, has over 280,000 followers, averages 4,513 viewers, and has amassed over 44 million views throughout his time on Twitch.

Lex also has a strong presence on YouTube with over 400 videos, almost 100,000 subscribers and over 25 million total video views.

Spraggy, a UK based poker streamer, averages 1,703 views, has over 120,000 followers and has over 11 million total views on his Twitch channel.

The Canadian poker pro and streamer Kevin Martin has also carved out his space in the streaming world, with almost 50,000 subscribers and 9.7 million views on YouTube and a popular Twitch channel.

Even poker platforms like GG Poker, partypoker, and PokerStars have branched into the streaming world.

PokerStars itself has two Twitch channels, PokerStars247 and PokerStars. The former streams old poker content 24/7, while the latter covers and streams events.

Perhaps the biggest reason why the EPT is no longer shown on cable television is due to its sheer popularity on YouTube. The final table of EPT Barcelona 2019, the last live EPT event with full coverage, accumulated over 700,000 views on the popular streaming site.

In general, the number of streaming services has increased exponentially over the years. With that, it seems people have ditched cable altogether in favor of these streaming services.

In light of this shift of entertainment platforms, the poker industry seems to have acted accordingly. In order to reach the largest audiences today it is necessary to be present on streaming sites, and there is no way around it.

With an abundance of free poker content on platforms like Twitch and YouTube, why would viewers look anywhere else for content? It seems to be a win-win; the viewer is able to watch poker content for free while the streamer is able to expand their platform and reach wider audiences.

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