World Poker Tour Bets on AI Dubbing of Tournaments for Latin America

The World Poker Tour (WPT) is betting on AI-powered dubbing tools under a partnership with Papercup, a London-based AI dubbing company, that will replace WPT’s traditional localization methods in Latin America.

Papercup will work with the World Poker Tour to translate 184 of the franchise’s 44-minute-long episodes into Brazilian Portuguese, the companies said.

More from The Hollywood Reporter

“This will amount to nearly 140 hours of content and enable viewers across South America to access WPT’s latest shows and tournaments in their native language quicker than ever before,” they explained. “Forced to deal with lead times of up to six months, the company experienced ongoing challenges with timely content delivery and adaptation.”

The Papercup deal will cut those lead times in half, the partners said. “Now the premier poker content produced by WPT will be able to reach international fans watching on OTT platforms, as well as its own FAST channel, faster than ever before,” they touted. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Papercup uses a combination of machine-learning tools and expert human translators to “deliver maximal linguistic and tonal accuracy.” Its AI voices are built using data from real voice actors to ensure they “have all the warmth and expressivity of human speech,” it says.

The quality of Papercup dubbing has been second to none. A big part of that is down to their AI voices and expert translators who go through every sentence to make sure the moment is truly captured in the new AI dubs,” said Marc Dion, director of distribution & ad sales at WPT. “The major streaming platforms have very stringent criteria when it comes to dubbed content and if it’s going to connect with our shared viewers.”

Said Papercup CEO Jesse Shemen: “The world of sports and entertainment has so much to gain from the adoption of AI tools like ours. Localizing quality content with the care and attention it deserves at speed is an absolute priority for WPT in order to engage their international fan base – our scalable solution means this work is finally possible.”

Papercup’s AI technology is also being used by the likes of Fremantle, Bloomberg, Sky News, Fuse Media, and The Jamie Oliver Group to localize content. The company, whose financial backers include Comcast-owned Sky, venture capital firms, and angel investors, says videos produced by it have reached more than 1 billion people in non-English speaking territories.

Best of The Hollywood Reporter