I've read some criticism of Eurosport for showing Joe Swail v Mark Davis instead of Jimmy White's match against Barry Hawkins at the Northern Ireland Trophy this afternoon so would make the following points:

1) Eurosport has NO SAY in which matches are broadcast.
2) Eurosport is NOT CONSULTED as to which matches are broadcast.

The decision is made by the host broadcaster, in this case TG4, and World Snooker.

I thought the decision to show Swail's match was wrong before the tournament began. Yes, he is on home turf but White is the most popular player snooker has ever seen.

He is popular in Belfast, Birmingham and Belgrade.

This could very well have been his last appearance at a main tour venue. It was his first in a ranking event in the UK for over two years.

These may not be easy calls for the organisers as Swail may have expected, as the local man, to get top billing.

The tournament director, Mike Ganley, is in a difficult position as he is effectively employed by the players and so understandably does not want to upset them.

I wouldn't want his job.

However, snooker is not in the position where it can afford to put its star appeal on non-televised tables.

You may recall this happened with the world final rematch between John Higgins and Mark Selby at the Shanghai Masters a year ago. They were shoved onto an outside table in favour of Stuart Bingham v Stuart Pettman.

What next? Ronnie O'Sullivan playing his matches in the local club?


stuartfanning said...

When Eurosport coverage has finished TG4 has a live web stream. However commentary is in the Irish language.


Dan Smith said...

Its madness, white should have been the main tv match this evening

Dan Smith said...

Its madness, white should have been the main tv match this evening

Anonymous said...

It's absolutely ridiculous to complain about this.
White has been awful for a few seasons now and is no longer worth watching.
He might have been the most exciting player ever but it is no good living in the past.The game has moved on and so should the nostalgics.
Of course it is sad that White's game has degenerated but this is 2008 and not 1998.

Dave H said...

World Snooker chose Jimmy - above any other player - to launch the box office of the Grand Prix last week - even though there's a very good chance he won't even be in the final stages

Why? Because he's still a huge draw. Bigger than Joe Swail and Mark Davis for sure.

Yet when Jimmy's actually in a tournament he's stuck on a table out of range of the cameras.

It certainly isn't 'ridiculous' to point this out.

And by the way, the reason I am drawing attention to this is because Eurosport have had complaints - when they don't pick the matches.

Anonymous said...

I didn't say it was ridiculous to raise this issue just that it shouldn't be an issue.
No wonder snooker is in trouble if it is still relying on Jimmy to promote its events.Surely if it wants to attract new sponsors it should be promoting the players who will actually be competing at the events?
It's a shame Eurosport cannot pick the matches it wants to show but until it becomes the host broadcaster of an event it will have to make do with the host broadcasters choices.
I don't think there is any excuse why all the matches cannot be covered by a camera though.At the very least Eurosport should be able to show live coverage of all the matches via its website.

Graham said...


Can anyone tell me how we can find out which match/table is going to be televised?



PS Love this blogg Dave, just brilliant and your number 1 choice for "snooker's top ten moments" was spot on! Hendry all the way!!

Matt said...

Hendry/Lee snubbed tomorrow in favour of Allen/Dale, very disappointing.

Sarmu said...

While I definally prefer to watch White vs Hawkins, but I think the host should broadcast local favourite rather then the favourite. So I think it is justified to see Swail vs Davis. However they should let eurosports show the other table, I don't get why they can't have another tv table.

Shanghai Masters was really lack of experience by the organisers, since they automatically assumed favourite will always win, and sold the ticket accordingly.

Monique said...

It is a pity indeed that there is only one TV table, because it means that "international" broadcasters are stuck with the local broadcaster choice. But otherwise there is some rationale in the choice of TG4: this is the only one ranking event in Ireland and surely the Irish are keen to keep it alive. Therefore they must please the national audience (Irish, not just Belfast) and sponsors. Hence the choice for the local boys. But I must say the display was very poor... Certainly Swail and O'Brien can do better than this.

stuartfanning said...

TG4 is a broadcaster in the Republic of Ireland, although it is also seen in N Ireland by the small number of people who understand the Irish language. I think the rationale of TG4 being the host broadcster for this tournament is bizarre. The TG4 commentary is in Irish only which few in N Ireland understand and, although more do in the ROI, it's still less than 50% of the population. So I suspect the majority of people in the island of Ireland are watching the Eurosport coverage rather than TG4's. The BBC would be the obvious choice as host broadcaster given the tournament takes place in the UK, but I guess they were not interested so World Snooker had to look elsewhere.

andy said...

I think it's right to be the Allen/Dale match. Allen's one of the most exciting up and coming players in the game today!

Hendry and Lee can produce some pretty lacklustre stuff these days.


Anonymous said...

Dave, when u r commentating for Eurosport r u in the arena or r u commentating in a room with tv pictures? Hope u don't mind the question?


Anonymous said...

I believe that White's match should have been shown for the reasons that Dave H has pointed out in his initial blog, however, I also happen to agree with his point about the thankless task that people like Mike Ganley have.

You need thick-skinned people like Ganley who can ride the rough with the smooth, and on the whole I think he does a good job.

Although it might seem hypocritical for World Snooker to let Jimmy lauch the Grand Prix, as Dave has mentioned, and then put him on an outside table, on this occasion I think it shows the influence of the host broadcaster rather than highlight what World Snooker would have done if they had full control.

As for White, I happen to think that he may well appear in the TV rounds of another ranking event in future. I know that goes against his general form of the last two or three years, but he won three games over the notoriously difficult best-of-9 format to qualify for this event and was one match away from the Crucible for the World Championship just gone - better than he did the previous year.

I certainly don't think we'll see him in the Top 16 again and admittedly it will be tougher for him as the season goes on, but if he can adopt the Davis mantra of "playing as if it means nothing when it means everything" then he has half a chance.

Sam T

Anonymous said...

If I was in charge of scheduling I could instantly make a difference by putting on the players I know play the most exciting snooker in place of those who happen to be born near the venue!

Of course Doherty v Greene had to have the tv table but Jamie Cope is far more exciting to watch than Fergal O'Brien! Surely everyone involved behind the scenes knows this!

Anonymous said...

...and by the way I would have put Dale v Allen over Hendry v Lee and surely tonights match shows you why? Fantastic attacking snooker by both players which was very pleasing on the eye.

Dave H said...

Man in the middle - apologies but I've had to remove your post as there may be legal implications

However, I am very interested in any information you have on this subject so please feel free to email me with any at snookersceneblog@aol.com

Claus Christensen said...

With regards to decisions of the televised table it should not be that much of a topic in 2008.
Why? Because of live-streaming, which made this year's WC such a fantastic experience.

Even spotty teens have webcams nowadays, surely the signal providers can manage to spend 20£ on a webcam. Right? Why is this not the norm? Commercial revenue? Then have a fella push a button so the streaming audience gets Hyundai ads in between frames as well. I'd do it for free!