Norman and Lon Move to CBS Sports with WSOP
Norman Chad and Lon McEachern are an integral part of the annual World Series of Poker, at least for fans who have watched the clips online and episodes on ESPN for years. In fact, the duo has been commentating on poker since 2003. That was the year that Chris Moneymaker won the WSOP Main Event and sent poker into a whirlwind of a few years. And no one can watch that iconic moment in poker without hearing the voices of Chad and McEachern calling the action.
Quietly, though, a few people wondered what would happen to them now that the WSOP broadcasts have gone to CBS Sports Network. In mid-April of this year, the WSOP made the surprise announcement that it parted ways with ESPN in favor of a new deal with CBS Sports Network. It was the new “exclusive domestic home of the WSOP.”
Mori Eskandani’s production team will be returning as the film and production crew.
At that time, McEachern tweeted that he believed he would return as well. “The announce team is intact!” he wrote.
— Lon McEachern (@lonmceachern) April 20, 2021
Both Announcers Confirmed
PokerNews talked to Norman Chad about the situation and received an answer. Chad confirmed that he signed on to a deal that McEachern had already signed, and both will commentate on the 2021 World Series of Poker.
He told PN: The poker boom owes a huge debt to ESPN – the wide exposure of the game, the endless re-airs of Main Event episodes. Hopefully, with CBS Sports Network, the WSOP can take the next step. It will be great to see other bracelet events highlighted in the mainstream.”
The CBS deal with the WSOP will deliver 15 hours of Main Event episodes and 36 hours of other bracelet events. Players have been clamoring for non-Main Event coverage, and they will receive it this year. (The air dates may be next year, but that’s beside the point.)
— PokerNews (@PokerNews) August 26, 2021
All of those hours may not air on CBS Sports Network on traditional television. Some may air on other platforms owned by Viacom CBS, like Paramount Plus. Some of the coverage may be livestreamed online as well. The PokerGO team also has a deal with the WSOP and, coincidentally, with CBS Sports. Somehow, this should all meld together and give poker fans multiple ways to watch the 2021 WSOP.
Poker fans will see (mostly hear) a good amount of Chad and McEachern throughout the coverage of this year’s World Series, though the episodes may not start airing until 2022.
PokerGO provided a great look at the two commentators in 2019.
Commentating on GGPoker Events
As a part of the deal, Chad and McEachern will also commentate on select WSOP Online events that have and will play out on GGPoker. The 33 gold bracelet events for international players kicked off with Event 1 flights on July 26 and will wrap the series on September 12.
When we provided a recap of the first half of those GGPoker events, we couldn’t list a winner for Event 15 – the $10K buy-in NLHE Heads-Up Championship – because of a delayed final table. That delay was to broadcast the final table in episodic format. The schedule for YouTube broadcasts for Event 15 is:
-August 31 = Episode 1 “The Start”
-September 2 = Episode 2 “The Journey”
-September 4 = Episode 3 “Final Four” live