As I thought myself the tournament was widely regarded as one of the most successful and popular world championship's in recent memory and the viewing figures released by the BBC and China Central Television (CCTV) just go to back up that statement.
in the UK the peak viewing figure for the BBC was 6.6 million, the best figure in the past five years, The average audience for the final session was also well up at 3.9 million. Thats more than a 50 increase over last year's final between Neil Robertson and Graeme Dott. In total over 27.1 million people watched the Snooker in the UK at some point, that's almost half the population of the UK!
These increased figures can be attributed to a lot of things, but one of the main reason is the amazing progress of new star Judd Trump through the tournament. The China Open champion already had a lot of buzz following him due to his win in Beijing, but not many people had expected him to beat the likes of Neil Robertson and Ding Junhui to reach the final. Also I think what helps with the viewing figures is that Snooker must of gotten a lot more fans this year due to the popularity of the Snooker Shootout on Sky and more people would of wanted to see what the real sport looks like at the Crucible.
In China though it was even more popular. Snooker is reportedly the country's no.1 sport there in recent times and with viewing figures like these it is easy to see why. Increased by the success of local hero Ding Junhui, his semi-final match against Judd Trump was the most popular sports broadcast in China so far this year and achieved an average audience of 19.4 million, peaking at close to 30 million.
It was also good to see that their wasn't many empty seats from the second round onwards and ticket revenue for the tournament was also up on last year by over 15%. There is a real buzz going around the game at the moment and if World Snooker and Barry Hearn keep doing what they are doing it could conceivably get back to it's level of popularity that it had in the early 90's or even it's 80's peak.
The next event on the calendar is the World Snooker Q School which starts next week on May 11th and runs through to May 28th. There will be exclusive interviews coming up soon with some of the stars of the Q School including Dr Khizar Raoof from India, Lasse Munstermann from Germany and local young talent Sean "The Storm" O'Sullivan.