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WSOP Sued Over Sponsorship

Everest Poker says French broadcasts violate agreement

Everest Poker is accusing Harrah’s Entertainment of violating the company’s .5 million World Series of Poker sponsorship agreement with the poker site, by allowing a Full Tilt Poker logo to be shown on telecasts of the series in France. ESPN’s European affiliate, RTL9, replaced Everest’s logo with Full Tilt’s in the series’ French broadcasts.

Harrah’s attorneys responded to the suit, which was brought by Everest Poker owner Ultra Internet Media S.A., saying, “Nobody from Harrah’s made any representation during any of the negotiations or in the promotional agreement concerning any ESPN distribution or WSOP programming in France. Indeed, at the time of the negotiations, UIM did not have an online gaming license recognized by French authorities. It was broadly observed that poker programming was not distributed by French television stations unless tournaments were sponsored by a French licensee.”

Everest Poker first expressed concern over the WSOP’s French telecasts last year, and Harrah’s brokered an agreement with ESPN affiliates in Spain and Italy that would present Everest Poker as the WSOP sponsor in those countries, but not France.