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FSN Deals Out More Poker

10/18/2004 10:13 AM Eastern

FSN is betting big on a second season of Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament.

Executive vice president of programming and production George Greenberg said the network will air PSIT Sunday nights from mid-March to mid-October, debuting with a two-hour premiere.

FSN’s coverage of the no-limit Texas hold-‘em tournament competition will jump from 12 to 36 hours during the second season, as the field expands from eight to 24 players.

The current season has produced solid numbers for the sports network Sundays from 9 p.m.-10 p.m., averaging a 0.51 household rating over nine original installments through Oct. 3 since its August bow, an 82% jump from the prior year, according to Nielsen Media Research data.

Beginning this month, FSN has been using the prior week’s episode at 8 p.m. as a lead-in to the fresh installment.

FSN is approaching its first-year anniversary with poker, which began last Thanksgiving with six one-hour installments of the Showdown at the Sands from 12:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. local time.

Since then, FSN has deployed five different poker formats, according to a spokesman. who added, “It’s 99% sure that we’ll do a second live event,” a reference to its July 14 presentation of The American Poker Championship Live from the Turning Stone Resort and Casino.

That show -- airing on a five-minute delay for security purposes -- averaged a 0.7 mark on FSN’s different regional sports networks over four hours that day.

The spokesman said FSN is also considering a Ryder Cup-type format pitting a U.S. contingent of players versus those hailing from Europe.

September