British television production company, Tinopolis, and its subsidiary, Sunset+Vine, have announced plans to produce 4 new poker-themed series' for a value of £4 million. The new shows will increase Tinopolis' gaming programming content to more than 85 hours this year, and, according to a spokesperson, will make it "the U.K.'s biggest independent producer in the fast-growing programming area of gaming."
The company has acquired the rights to two PokerStars.com- sponsored series – the European Poker Tour (EPT), which recently finished filming its second season, and the World Cup of Poker 2006, set for a live taping in Barcelona, Spain, this summer.
InterPoker.com's "University Poker Clash" is the third show scheduled for a June production, and will crown the best student poker player in the United Kingdom.
The fourth series picked up by Sunset+Vine is "Showbiz Poker," which features celebrity players battling it out at the poker table. Participants scheduled to compete include various soccer players, famous businessmen, and actors.
Ron Jones, executive chairman of Tinopolis, said, "Gaming is one of the fastest-growing areas in U.K. television. Sunset+Vine has already built a reputation for its production expertise and we want to grow this area of the business. We're winning new business by offering the same award-winning production values to poker as we do to any major sport - cricket, football or horse-racing."
All of the shows will air on Challenge T.V. and will also be broadcast on the entertainment channel, Player, as well as being distributed internationally.