Poker on TVHere at Poker For Free, we reported several months ago that the future of Poker TV was uncertain after the events of Black Friday. We can now give you a little more insight into the way that the different types of poker programming have been affected, both inside and outside the US.

Many poker shows are run as time-buys, which means that they simply buy out the spot, rather than having part of the costs covered by advertising. Infomercials and special promotions are typically run as time-buys because they aren’t expected to generate much money through advertising; time-buys are often in strange time slots or show material that isn’t suitable for all audiences. In the case of Poker TV, however, there’s an easy way to explain why the largest sponsors of the main Poker TV hits would simply buy out the time slot– for the time that their show is on the air, they can advertise to their hearts content in a way that isn’t regularly monitored or censored and that is lucrative beyond belief. Some pundits suggest that the advertising that the big poker companies showed during the airing of their shows irked the US Department of Justice into taking action against online gambling. Because there’s now no benefit to advertising in the US anymore (or at all, if you’re Full Tilt Poker right now), many of the shows that were time buys have been pulled, and the futures of others are still uncertain.

Here’s where things stand with your favorite Poker TV shows:

World Series of Poker

As anyone who has tuned in to Poker TV in the last month knows, the World Series of Poker is still alive and kicking– for the time being. This year’s stupendous turnout has a lot of people talking about keeping the tournament series on the air, even though many of the sponsors, including Full Tilt and PokerStars, have been pulled. Potential sponsors may be waiting to see how the next year of live poker plays out before investing, in order to see if the poker market stabilizes or is headed for a crash.

World Poker Tour

You can expect to see the World Poker Tour aired on television for some time, as it’s owned by an online gambling firm out of the UK and hasn’t suffered substantial losses since Black Friday like other popular Poker TV sponsors. As one of the largest poker tournaments of the year, the World Poker Tour will probably be one of the last things to go; its status gives it incredible staying power that should help it stay afloat.

European Poker Tour

While the EPT site reports that there are countless networks still airing the tournament, it doesn’t list any. PokerStars, the primary sponsors of the European Poker Tour, has found a new solution: streaming all of the EPT action at

North American Poker Tour

Off the air. After PokerStars was booted from the US market, they pulled their sponsorship, and this time buy went under. Don’t expect to see the North American Poker Tour show back up on ESPN unless something changes with online poker legislation in the US.

High Stakes Poker

Sponsored by PokerStars, High Stakes Poker is owned by GSN (Game Show Network), but with the main sponsor potentially pulling the plug on the show, there’s serious danger that it may not return.

Poker After Dark

Poker After Dark, one of the most popular shows on Poker TV, is in serious jeopardy, as its main sponsor was Full Tilt Poker, which is currently in no position to sponsor anything. PAD was on a time buy, and Full Tilt has paid up through the remainder of this season, but whether or not we’ll see new seasons of this excellent show is still anyone’s guess.

Epic Poker League

This long-awaited show, brought to you by Annie Duke and Jeffrey Pollack, just signed a deal with CBS and the Velocity Network, and they’re guaranteed for a full season of 20 shows. Velocity doesn’t go live as a network until early October, but the addition of this show to a lineup that’s otherwise devoid in poker TV is promising, as it means that spectators may be seeing less of an obliteration of their favorite shows and more a change in the way that they’re presented. With other poker shows off the air, expect to see a lot of the talent flocking to Epic Poker League.