Snooker Staying On BBC For At least 3 More Years

Snooker Staying On BBC For At least 3 More Years

The BBC along with World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn has signed a new deal to screen the World and UK championships, Masters and Welsh Open until the end of the 2013/2014 snooker season.

Barry Hearn


The contract extends the BBC's deal with World Snooker by three years.

"We are absolutely thrilled to extend our partnership with the BBC for a further three years," said World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn.

"The deal strengthens our foundations and allows us to keep pushing forward with the sport's new era."

Australian Neil Robertson is the current world champion after he beat Graeme Dott in the 2010 final and Hearn cited that tournament's viewing figures as evidence of snooker's public appeal.

"Last year the World Championship reached 18.7 million people across the tournament, showing there is a big appetite for the sport," he added.

"The World Championship, which has been extensively covered by the BBC every year since 1978, as well as the Masters, the UK Championship and the Welsh Open, has become part of the sporting fabric of the nation.

"These events are among the jewels in the crown of the sporting calendar and it is fantastic that they are to remain on the BBC."

Seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry added: "Ever since I've played snooker, the BBC has been the main broadcaster for our sport. The biggest tournaments belong on the BBC so it's excellent news that we've extended the deal."

BBC director of sport Barbara Slater said: "We're delighted to have renewed our partnership with World Snooker.

"The BBC has a proud history of coverage of top-class snooker and we're looking forward to continuing to bring the highest quality coverage to our audiences."

One tournament that will not be covered by the BBC is the World Open, formerly the Grand Prix, which will be played overseas this year.

An announcement is due within the next three week about where the tournament will be played, with Asia, China or the Middle East in contention.

In 2011 there will be more events played outside the UK than in it, and Hearn said this fact, plus the way big name players were being beaten at the Masters at Wembley, showed the health of the game.

"It is no surprise to me these big games have fallen this week at the Masters considering the increased activity in the lesser known events," he said.

"The bar has been raised. The standard is increasing all the time and if the players don't produce their A game then they will beaten. That is how competitive sport should be.

"The picture is very rosy indeed for snooker," added Hearn, who also revealed he was heading out to Las Vegas next week to discuss potential development in the United States.

Article from BBC Sport


This is a great announcement for the game. The BBC is definately the main home of televised Snooker in the world and the team from IMG Media and BBC Sport produce some great coverage from the events as well as my personal favourites of the interval videos that are played showing more of the players off the table and the archive footage clips.


Welsh Open Trophy


It is great that they included the Welsh Open in the deal as it is probably my second favourite BBC tournament to watch just behind the World Championship's because of the variety of different commentators (Dominic Dale is excellent) and ways of presenting the coverage is second to none and BBC Wales do an excellent job.

Unfortunately though the BBC have decided to drop the World Open which is a shame because I enjoyed the tournament last year and seeing players that you usually wouldn't in televised stages of events was a treat. It's also a big loss to the Scottish fans as the rumour is that the tournament will be taken to Asia which leaves them without a ranking event after all these years. Could we see a return of the Scottish Masters?

Also interesting to see Barry Hearn heading to Las Vegas to discuss potential development of Snooker in America. I can't recall them ever having a professional tournament in North America and the game isn't very popular there. Maybe they are going to have an invitational event like the upcoming Brazilian Masters to test the water? Obviously if they could tap the USA market it would be as huge for the game as it was when the Chinese started watching and playing it.

Posted Jan 12, 2011
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