An opinion piece on PokerListings suggests that PokerStars could continue their consolidation of the poker market by acquiring media giant PokerNews.com.

Matthew Showell, author of the op-ed, provides the following clues that PokerNews is in financial trouble:

  • formerly a major advertiser for Full Tilt Poker who is believed to owe outstanding affiliate payments
  • hiring less experienced field reporters for live tournament coverage
  • laid off reporter Eric Ramsey halfway through WSOP telling him the company could no longer afford the position
  • running banner ads for AshleyMadison.com, a dating site to help people cheat on their spouses

If these clues do indeed amount to financial struggles for the biggest poker media outlet on the web, it makes some sense that PokerStars could look to acquire the site.

Last year, PokerStars bought PokerPages.com which helped prevent that online resource from shutting down completely. The only advertisements on PokerPages, which has a top-100,000 Alexa rank, are for PokerStars.

Rumors that PokerStars will buy Full Tilt Poker lend further credibility to the theory that the largest online poker room is seeking to gobble up as much of the poker market as they can.

Recently, PokerStars and PokerNews have shared an increasingly close relationship. The PokerNews live tournament coverage team is subsidized by PokerStars who cross-publishes that content to the PokerStars Blog.

Why This Matters

A potential PokerStars buyout of the largest poker media site is big news for the poker world. Since acquiring PokerPages, PokerStars has effectively turned that site into a glorified advertisement for themselves. If they acquire PokerNews, it would become hard to regard that site as an even remotely impartial source of industry news.

As Showell points out, most poker media outlets are biased to some extent but remain funded by a range of advertisers. If PokerStars continues playing monopoly with the online poker world, it could make it harder for affiliates and players to find a wide view of what’s really going on in the industry.

What do you think a PokerStars buyout of PokerNews would mean for the industry? Please share in our forums.


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