19.1.09

SNOOKER WINS RATINGS WAR

Some 2.7m BBC2 viewers were still watching at 00.12am when Ronnie O'Sullivan clinched a 10-8 victory last night over Mark Selby to win the Masters at Wembley.

The peak viewing audience was 3.1m at 10.30pm.

O'Sullivan was of the view afterwards that the final should be best of 13 frames to ensure an earlier finish but, actually, what needs to happen is an earlier start.

The snooker drew a 13% share to BBC2, which was the most watched channel after 10.30pm.

The final also beat Match of the Day 2 on BBC1, which drew an audience of 2.2m, and Channel 4's Celebrity Big Brother, which pulled in 2.3m.

31 comments:

Isak said...

I agree, it's ridiculous to start the final session at 9 pm! They should change it to around 7 pm in my opinion. Is there a reason to have the final so late or is that just "the way it's always been"?

RIch P said...

The final started at 8pm but yes that's still too late. Great final and will have done snooker the world of good, especially, if we're honest, with Ronnie winning it.

Never seen him look so pleased.

Isak said...

Oh sorry, 8 pm GMT... Where I'm located that's 9 pm ;)

To be honest I cheered for Selby... Let's hope he wants revenge in the Crucible!

Anonymous said...

O'Sullivan was of the view it should be best of 13 frames. Well bully for him. Good job he's not in charge although it sounds like he thinks he is.

Of course earlier session start times are the answer, not shorter finals. If anything, all matches should be longer in order that the better player comes out on top more frequently.

Anonymous said...

Lest get some things straight here, Ronnie doesn't say incredibly clever things which we should all listen carefully to.
Most of what Ronnie says contradicts what he has said previously.
He is a great player, the best I have seen, yet last night was one of those occasions where the best player didn't win.
Selby threw frames away and Ronnie took full advantage although I would concede that to win The Masters with what amounts to a strange cue is an unbelievable feat.
Good tournament and great news about viewing figures.
Up yours Patrick Collins.

Rich P said...

I'm sorry, I think the best player clearly did win.

Anonymous said...

According to some of the papers, snooker is dead. There where 3.1 million viewers watching the final in the UK alone. The snooker drew a 13% share to BBC2, which was the most watched channel after 10.30pm. The final also beat Match of the Day 2 on BBC1, which drew an audience of 2.2m, and Channel 4's Celebrity Big Brother, which pulled in 2.3m. So, snooker seems to be dying? yeah, right.

Anonymous said...

The session times should definitely be changed, it's ridiculous the finish to these final's. I had to get up for work just after 4am so obviously i missed out on Ronnie's win which is a shame because i had been watching the quality play at the masters all week.
It seem's to be the norm now for late late finishes, Murphy won the uk championship at 00.20 and lest we forget Higgins win in the world final over Selby which run very late and that was 18-13, it would have been at least 3-4 in the morning if that had gone all the way. Dott beating Ebdon in the world final was also a late finish.
It's not just the watching tv audience, what about the people at the game? i'm sure the underground station would have been closed at that time of morning.
For me it should be 1.30pm start and the evening session at 6.30 or 7pm start that way their shouldn't be so late finishes and also we might get more column inches about this great sport in the press and that the youngsters get to see the conclusion aswell, you never know, they might talk about the snooker rather than the football football football that they do now.

Dean.

Anonymous said...

RIch P said...
The final started at 8pm but yes that's still too late. Great final and will have done snooker the world of good, especially, if we're honest, with Ronnie winning it.

Never seen him look so pleased.

4:19 PM


i I am honest id rather Selby won it, for his potential, professionalism and for snookers future.

i dont know who the WE is in your statement. perhaps the majority, but certainly nowhere near exclusive.

loads of folk cant stand ronnie, even though they admit he plays amazing snooker.

great viewing figures. was the venue sold out?

jamie said...

Strong figures about the same as last year when Selby walked it. The game is not dead but I would like to see music walk ons. This is some song choices.

Ronnie O'Sullivan- Either Rocket Man by Elton John or Can't Get No Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones.



Stephen Maguire- Fire by Arthur Lee

Marco Fu- No Emotion by Idlewild or Kung Fu by Ash

Neil Robertson- Australia- Manic Street Preachers

Ali Carter- El Capitan-Idlewild

Ryan Day- Perfect Day- Lou Reed

Peter Ebdon- Come On- The Verve

Stephen Hendry- Smile- Lily Allen

Anonymous said...

There's far too much gibberish being spouted, about "speeding up the game". How many classic best of 17 or best of 19 (or more) finals have there been? Plenty. How many memorable "best of 13", 30 second shot clock finals have there been? None.

Anonymous said...

It has been said for years that starting finals nights at 8pm is too late but bbc (so we have been told) set the timings. Common sense will not prevail because bbc makes the decision on this and puts its own scheduling ahead of the best interests of the sport and the viewing public. World Snooker is obviously happy to go along with this to keep bbc happy. If snooker is 'dead' and pulling in better viewing figures than match of the day does that mean that football is 'dead' too?
John H

Anonymous said...

So a snooker final won a ratings war when two of the current most popular players were battling out an epic final against each other? Big deal.

Just think about what happened when lesser 'Gods of the Baize' would have gotten this far...

I don't think snooker is as dead as O'Sullivan seems to claim, but to say it's very much alive isn't really true either. They could do with a little boost (although I doubt Cowell or darts like dressing up (it would be hilarious for one time only, though. For a thing like Sport Relief) will help)

Anonymous said...

Can you put brackets inside brackets?

SupremeSnooker said...

Some bright sparks at the BBC will probably use these healthy ratings figures as proof that snooker has reached a "new audience" by dropping Clive Everton.
I don't especially dislike any commentators, but most snooker fans I've spoken to in the last few days MUCH preferred having Clive as part of the team, and I have to say I strongly agree.

Anonymous said...

id be surprised if many fans noticed much difference, unless they normally watch every session of every match, and remember back every masters tournament. he didnt do every session of every match before, so unless you tune in to more than half the matches theres as much chance of listening to him as not, until this year, so how someone, or lots of people can have missed one commentator so badly is beyond me.....yeah i know im setting myself up for the childish ones on here to reply rubbish *at* me

Rich P said...

On the subject of commentators i wish they'd use Neal Foulds other for than the World Championships because he's a good commentator.

Anonymous said...

It was a closely contested final, an exciting fight with twists and turns, therefore the largest part of the audience stayed tuned. Also, Ronnie and Mark are the two biggest box office attractions, hence the remarkable viewing figures. Be realistic, these figures would be substantially lower in almost any other case. No serious conclusions can be drawn from these numbers on the general state of snooker, which may or may not be in decline - to be honest, I don't know.

As for the starting times, we are more affected here, in continental Europe. The final ended around 1.15am here.

Who was the better player? All I can say that yesterday I watched the final again, and I am still surprised that Mark managed to throw this away. And even more surprised that this time Ronnie was, somewhat uncharacteristically, the greater fighter.

Regards,
Gabriel

Anonymous said...

What is that phrase about lies, damn lies and statistics?
I think putting snooker up against Match of the Day 2 which featured the fare served up Fulham, West Ham, Spurs and Portsmouth means that the former was always going to win.
What is that phrase about straws and clutching?

Anonymous said...

Ronnie's strange statement about "dying snooker" definitely seems to revitalize the interest to the sport. I don't remember such amount of articles and opinions during last five years.... probably, only about his press-conference in China? Yes, that's right. Nowadays Ronnie is a biggest showman in snooker.

Anonymous said...

Ronnie said that the sport is dying, not that it is dead. If you are bleeding, you also are not dead, are you?
Such is the state of snooker in the UK and Ireland. It's diminishing, bleeding, dying.

There's some rising interest in continental europe and appearently quite a boom in china. Although I don't think that there could be found a sponsor who pumps 200k in a maintour event in Germany. However, every professional snooker tournament in Germany or Austria will have a packed house.
There's quite a small, but extremely enthusiastic fanbase in the german speaking contries. That leads me to a question. Dave H, do you know the rating figures of Eurosport for the final? I can't quite find something about it, but it is said that alone German Eurosport draws 1m on special snooker occasions. So the ratings throughout Europe could well match the ones on the BBC.

I think the main interest of World Snooker should be to promote World Snooker, not Snooker on the British Islands. You have the WSC, the UKC, the Grand Prix and the Masters in Britain. They are the heart of professional Snooker. But you should give other tournaments to other countries. Smaller ones to start with, in some high profile locations. The Tempodrom in Berlin for example, where there could be an enthusiastic 2000+ crowd for nearly every session. That would give the german speaking countries (where their live nerly 100 000 000 people) the boost they need in terms of snooker. And I don't think that travelling to Germany would be such a big deal. If there was a succesful tournament, that could really attract new sponsors.

The problem is that World Snooker is aiming to please the BBC, and the BBC just thinks about the BBC. Snooker is only dying on BBC, whereas elsewhere there would be foundations to build on. If World Snooker doesn't react quickly, Snooker will be dead in Britain and be aborted in other regions.

To push the analogy: Don't conduct euthanasia for Snooker in Britain and abortion for Snooker in the rest of the world at the same time!

Rich P said...

I think the last post sums it up perfectly. Snooker received so much press exposure and that's down to one man and one man only - Ronnie O'Sullivan. Without Ronnie, snooker really would be dying. Audience figures were boosted because he was there.

Not sure about Selby being big box office as a O'Sullivan - Williams or O'Sullivan - Higgins final would have been a bigger draw.

The reality is snooker is Ronnie. I heard Selby doing an interview on Chris Evans' radio two show before the tournament. Mr Charisma - not, certainly did nothing to sell the tournament.

Yes, Ronnie comes out with some odd things but this gets the column inches at the end of the day.

I do wish Barry Hearn would become move involved in things though as he seems to have the Midas touch. Another thing - maybe another tournament in central London wouldn't go amiss.

Rich P said...

My post was refering to the previous post by the way!

Anonymous said...

A ranking tournament in London would be great, it seems crazy that there isn't one to be honest.

Anonymous said...

Am glad the figures were good. Am I the only one who thinks the final could start earlier and the TV could catch up? Either that or abolish intervals which waste lots of time. When there are long spells of live coverage you often end up with a certain amount of dross (I admit this didn't really happen in the final apart from the re-racks). Or even if the last session of the final is live, couldn't some of the coverage during the week have been deferred to avoid programmes not getting results or - as often happens on the 7pm show - getting one tactical frame and then going off air with highlights to follow much too late - 11.20 or later. If people are really into long runs of live coverage they can use the Red Button or Eurosport anyway.

andy said...

It didn't start at 8pm where I lived, ....9pm, I was knackered Monday morning, so much so I decided to not bother with work until the afternoon!!!!

I'm amazed the final beat MOTD 2 in the ratings, ...good news for snooker for a change! :oD

Andy

Anonymous said...

In response to a couple of comments...

"So a snooker final won a ratings war when two of the current most popular players were battling out an epic final against each other? Big deal.

Just think about what happened when lesser 'Gods of the Baize' would have gotten this far."

Actually, the figures were much the same last year for Selby v Lee, and as recently as 2005 there were EIGHT MILLION watching the Murphy v Stevens final in Sheffield.

Within recent years, there was also a second round match between Marco Fu and Alan McManus in Sheffield which attracted more than 3 million.

So while O'Sullivan is a great drawing card, let's not start buying into the notion that the game depends on him to get good ratings.

Also...

"I think putting snooker up against Match of the Day 2 which featured the fare served up Fulham, West Ham, Spurs and Portsmouth means that the former was always going to win."

Don't know what this is about at all. There was very big interest in the Tottenham/Portsmouth match because of Redknapp, Defoe, the fact that both teams have been struggling for form etc..

Don't forget that even the most anonymous Premier League football match gets more media coverage than just about any snooker match, so it's significant to see snooker beating PL footy at any time.

And also, when the live screening of the 2002 FA Cup final between Arsenal and Chelsea went up against the World Championship, it was the snooker which got bigger ratings. And it wasn't even the final.

Anonymous said...

Yes, and trying to talk down the quality of the matches on MOTD2 overlooks the fact that the snooker also beat everything else that was on at that time.

Shaun Murphy made an interesting point during the week about changing viewing tastes, saying that people now seem more interested in watching people cracking up on Big Brother than watching talented snooker players doing their thing.

I think it was a very good point, but isn't it interesting that the week then ended with Big Brother being beaten in the ratings by the snooker?

Anonymous said...

Whoever said;
"Don't know what this is about at all. There was very big interest in the Tottenham/Portsmouth match because of Redknapp, Defoe, the fact that both teams have been struggling for form etc.."

All the 'big' teams had played on the Sunday. Sorry, Redknapp and Defoe means nothing compared to what the top teams were doing.

"Don't forget that even the most anonymous Premier League football match gets more media coverage than just about any snooker match, so it's significant to see snooker beating PL footy at any time."

Something to do with earlier kick-offs and finishing times, which you can set your watch by - completely the opposite of snooker.

And as for; "And also, when the live screening of the 2002 FA Cup final between Arsenal and Chelsea went up against the World Championship, it was the snooker which got bigger ratings. And it wasn't even the final."

Two London clubs. And the rest of the land ain't really bothered. Nice to see though you are using really up to date info. 2002! Or do you have nothing else up-to-date to hand?

Anonymous said...

Why do people like the last person who posted even bother coming on here?

They just seem to want to be negative about any good thing that happens for snooker.

If a snooker match ends up getting more viewers than all the other programmes on at the same time, that's great for the game.

Making daft assertions about nobody outside London being "really bothered" about the FA Cup final, and trying to talk down the footy fare being offered on the other side, won't change that.

This is the sort of flippant, illogical negativity which does so much damage to the game. I don't understand why anyone claiming to be a snooker fan would want to join in with that.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps they are snooker fans waiting for, as you put it, "any good thing that happens for snooker."

The Masters was a good final. It did though finish far too late, and, the tournament itself was played out without a sponsor being in place.

That is what is damaging snooker, not what someone, flippant or otherwise, posts on here.

Or are you happy with how things are in the world of snooker?