ESPN announces broadcast dates for 2005 WSOP coverage

ESPN has finalized its broadcasting schedule for the 2005 World Series of Poker. Selected events will begin airing on Tuesday, July 19th and will run until Tuesday, November 15th.

ESPN's new WSOP series boasts a 50% increase in coverage up from its 2004 WSOP broadcast, which was a seven-part series viewed by over 1.5 million households. This year, ESPN is planning to air two-hour episodes every Tuesday night for a total of 32 hours of broadcasting, set over the course of four months.

The 2005 WSOP coverage will include six episodes of World Series of Poker Circuit play, which will kick off the series starting tomorrow evening on ESPN. From August 23rd, the remainder of the series will focus on the 2005 WSOP itself, and will boast coverage of select final tables from a variety of events, including No-Limit Texas Hold'em, Pot-Limit Omaha, and Seven-Card Stud.

Footage from the $10,000 Main Event will be broadcast starting on October 11th and run until the series finale on November 15th, which will air final table play. These episodes will be one-hour in length, and are sure to draw huge amounts of viewers to ESPN.

ESPN director of tournament operations has been quoted as saying that 'last year the World Series of Poker had higher ratings than everything on ESPN except the NFL and NASCAR.' He expects 'the ratings will be higher this year because of the greater size of the purse, the greater number of players and the momentum the game has built.'

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