Poker Central and Stadium Partner on Interactive Facebook Watch Series

“Friday Night Poker” gives viewers the chance to interact with the players in real time

Poker Central partners with Stadium
Source: Getty Images / Christopher Furlong

Poker Central and multiplatform sports network Stadium have partnered on a new interactive series that will stream exclusively on Facebook Watch.

“Friday Night Poker,” which debuts on Sept. 21, has been described by the two companies as a new-format series showcasing the most prominent personalities in poker. Looking to capitalize on the social network’s highly engaged community, viewers on Facebook Watch will have the opportunity to engage with the hosts and players in real time throughout the broadcasts, and may even have a chance to compete by winning a seat in the show.

Episodes will air from 7:00-11:00 p.m. ET on Friday, with poker play on a 30-minute delay as required by Nevada gaming regulations. Games will take place out of the PokerGO Studio at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

“As Poker Central continues to expand its reach across audiences, growing in highly engaged social channels was a clear evolution,” said Sam Simmons, vice president of content for Poker Central, said in a statement.  “Developing ‘Friday Night Poker’ as a customized viewing experience on the Facebook Watch platform represents a significant milestone in that growth.”

Launched in August 2017, Facebook Watch has grown to encompass more than 100 shows from a mix of companies including legacy networks like ABC, FOX, and CBS. While the platform’s success is still debated since the service has yet to have any standout hits, it seems to favor interactive content, which is why so many publishers are eager to experiment with the format.

For example, “Realtionshipped” and “Makeup or Break up” — two interactive shows that launched on the platform last year — were both renewed for a second season by Facebook. “Makeup or Break Up” experienced a 31 percent increase in viewership and a 328 percent leap in followers after the first four episodes of the weekly series, while “Relationshipped” accumulated 15.8 million views in its first season.