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KSL Pull The Plug on Poker Game Show "Face the Ace"

11/8/2009
Utah-based TV station KSL Channel 5 has refused to air the prime-time poker game show, “Face The Ace”, after deciding that the subject of gambling did not meet their desired community standards.

The local Salt Lake City broadcaster, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has already pre-empted two episodes of the popular series and general manager Greg James revealed they would do so again when next month’s show airs.

“The whole idea of gambling is an issue for us and so we have chosen to pre-empt it,” explained James to the Salt Lake Tribune. “We talked about it [with KSL’s programming director and the station’s senior managers] and we didn’t feel it matched up with community standards.”

The game show, which airs nationally at 8.00pm on Saturday nights, involves contestants pitting their wits against professional poker players in a game of Texas Hold’em, with cash prizes up for grabs if they are successful. NBC, who produce “Face The Ace”, have argued that the show does not involve gambling as contestants are not actually at risk of losing their own money.

Nevertheless, with any form of gambling being banned in Utah, neither James nor church officials had any say in the station’s decision. Previously, KSL had set the precedent for poker shows in the state by pre-empting the nightly broadcasts of NBC’s popular “Poker After Dark” show and refusing to televise any of their weekend poker tournament coverage.
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