I am today in Prestatyn for the final day of the Shanghai Masters qualifiers where I am hoping to watch Jimmy White against Ken Doherty.
They are two of snooker’s greatest ever players, as are Steve Davis and Mark Williams, also in action today.
Matthew Stevens is playing here, as is Stephen Lee and a host of recognisable names and players capable of great performances.
But unless you are here in North Wales you will not be able to see a ball of any of it, and even if you are it may well be sold out.
Is it just me who finds it odd that, in 2008, the governing body cannot stream at least one match per session on their website?
A single webcam would do the trick. The excellent Global Cue Sports Centre has done this for the PIOS and other tournaments and CueSportTV do it for pool and will be streaming the upcoming Belgian Open.
I was there at the start of the great snooker/internet revolution when I worked for TSN (now 110sport) on what was a genuinely innovative, comprehensive website. It’s only fault was that it was several years ahead of its time.
We showed the Scottish Masters live and would have shown much more had TSN’s offer for internet rights been accepted by the then World Snooker administration.
Except they were not interested and the great revolution failed to materialise.
More recently, a company who specialise in webcasting approached World Snooker but were again rebuffed. They went to Barry Hearn’s Matchroom instead and thus the Championship League was born.
World Snooker is currently revamping their website. The best thing about it is its live scoring feature.
It is easy to be complacent about this. It’s not so long ago that the only way you could find out the scores if you weren’t at the qualifiers was to phone up the tournament director.
So live scoring is a great innovation but surely the next step is to stream matches? If you charged snooker fans a small fee I’m sure many would cough up to watch (the same could apply at tournaments with only one TV table).
There is cost involved but it is not fortunes. White v Doherty is a match that will be far more interesting to many, many people than some of those played in the final stages.
At the very least, World Snooker should sort something out for the final qualifying round of the World Championship next March.
This will again feature Doherty, Williams, Davis, Stevens, Lee and, possibly, White, John Parrott, Liang Wenbo and many other players people are interested in watching.
Sir Rodney Walker, World Snooker’s chairman, recently told BBC Radio 5 Live that the governing body has £4m in reserves.
This would be a good area in which to spend some of it.