The crowd attendance yesterday was the worst I can ever remember for a televised day of a ranking event in the UK.

Only 30 tickets were sold for the afternoon session. At the same time, Rangers were playing Celtic, which would have taken the attention of most of Glasgow.

However, the evening session did not attract that many more spectators - even though crowds at the SECC last year were generally good.

Let us hope yesterday was just an anomaly. The acid test comes today when Stephen Hendry plays.

If he can't pull in a crowd in Scotland then serious questions are going to be asked about how this tournament has been marketed.

Hendry could be vulnerable against Matt Selt, who is in the form of his life having qualified for Shanghai and now Glasgow from the first round.

But this is only his second match on TV and though Hendry's form is patchy, he has all the experience.

Liang Wenbo has played Peter Ebdon twice and beaten him 5-0 and 5-1. Full of confidence after his run to the Shanghai final he will be looking to complete the hat-trick.

Tonight, Shaun Murphy tackles Barry Pinches, who came from 4-1 down to beat Michael Holt in the final qualifying round.

Mark Allen faces Ian McCulloch, who was runner-up to Ronnie O'Sullivan in the Grand Prix five years ago.

TV times:
BBC2 1.30-4.30pm, 7-8pm, 0.50-3.40am

British Eurosport 2 1.30-5pm, British Eurosport 7.45-10pm
Eurosport times in other countries vary, check your local listings

The BBC website (in the UK) and the Eurosport Player has live coverage from both the tables.


Rich P said...

From a tv audience perspective this could be a good week as there's very little to offer in sporting competition to the snooker. The big plus is there's no football this week after this evening (although I love the footie as well). There are internationals at the weekend, although these are all pretty irrelevant now and you can only watch the England game through buying it online for £4.99 or £11.99 from Thurs (exploitation!).

The only other sport of significance is the World Grand Prix darts which is on Sky Sports every evening this week. Strange that it also takes the Grand Prix title but apart from that snooker has a chance to shine through.

It will be interesting to see how the tv audiences hold up.

Anonymous said...

So many empty seats, sad to see. And it's not like it's expensive to get in.

Anonymous said...

That was very sad to watch yesterday. The British public just seem to have fell out of love with the game. The only salvation could be more Premier League type events showcasing the more outgoing and quicker players.
These ranking tournaments are dead in the water, full of introverts who are now frightened to lose.

Mat Wilson

Anonymous said...

The arena is pathetic I don't know why they do this in Glasgow. It's always the same in Telford during the UK championship.

Anonymous said...

£100k to the winner - sell out crowds - a major sponsor - live coverage every night. Yes the Grand Prix in Dublin is where it's at.

It does seem as though the arrers has usurped snooker as the more popular sport. And alas, I can never see snooker coming back to challenge it.

Anonymous said...

If the public have fallen out of love with the game (which I agree seems possible) there are a number of people to blame for this.
Some of the governing bodies over the years have been incompitent but not all.
All have been criticised in the media, some rightly some not so.
In this case the criticism has been damaging and/or vindicated.
Finally the players have had chances to put things right but have either been indifferent to what goes on or controlled by agents/managers who voted for themselves over the game.
Also the recent cloud over the game regarding alleged fixed matches will be the final nail in the coffin of this sport in the UK.

Anonymous said...

Ticket prices are too high for the unemployed. I was in Glasgow yesterday and could not afford to attend. Put the tickets back to 4 or 5 pounds for the last 32 and pack the arenas again (not that they have ever been busy pre quarterfinals for a long time unless O'sullivan, Hendry, Higgins, Davis or White is playing!

SupremeSnooker.com said...

Anyone who says the public has fallen out with the game is very much mistaken.
TV audiences are still pretty healthy, not only in Britain but in other parts of the world too.
Barry Hearn never seems to have any trouble selling tickets for his Premier League events.
Pat Mooney clearly thinks setting up new snooker events around the world is worth his time and money.
No, the blame for the decline of snooker, the empty arenas, the drab sets, the massive decline in tournaments and prize money lies squarely with World Snooker.
Radical action needs to be taken in the next year or so to avoid the game being damaged beyond repair. If this doesn't happen, the game can expect years in the wilderness.

Anonymous said...

Everyone knows that people go to darts to get drunk, not to watch the spectacle.

jamie brannon said...

I think a scrappy start to the event, could be down to the lack of atmosphere. Also Clive seems to be only commentating when Ken is playing which is disappointing

Anonymous said...

"Barry Hearn never seems to have any trouble selling tickets for his Premier League events."

Absolutely. So why are World Snooker not talking to Matchroom for some advice on how to do this?

Is it because they don't realise how bad it is for the perception of snooker to have endless empty seats on television?

Is it because they do realise, but don't care?

Is it because they have so little interest in the bigger picture of snooker that they don't know about the big crowds at the Premier League?

Or is it because of World Snooker's institutionalised hostility to other promoters?

Probably bits of all these things in one way or another. What do other people think?

Anonymous said...


The game is damaged beyond repair now. If there are no sponsors for the ranking events next year then that's it.

@Anonymous 3:24 PM

Not true, plenty of people do watch the darts. Of course at the end of the evening there will be lots of drunk folk. What you've written sounds rather snobbish and elitist. At least the darts fans will have a sport with regular tournaments to attend in a couple of years!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Everyone knows that people go to darts to get drunk, not to watch the spectacle.

3:24 PM

So apart from charging the spectators to watch the darts, they manage to sell them lots of drinks too.

That would never do, would it?

Anonymous said...

The Grand Prix event should be taken around the country - in keeping with its 'random draw' selling point. Big sporting cities such as Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool etc, who have not seen any snooker recently could take turns at hosting, and local celebrities could do the draw.
This would allow for maximum publicity within these cities. You could argue that this event may then lose its identity, but being unsponsered and playing to miniscule crowds is surely damaging the sport beyond belief.

Anonymous said...

A quick fix to keep things moving in the mean time:

1) Change the scoreboard from that horrible purple/yellow combo

2) More camera angles from the side, from above, tracking the balls, anything to get some action away from the standard camera which shows 95% of the shots.

3) More graphics and stats. Hawkeye could be used more.

4) Let the players dress down a bit to give it a more relaxed feel. Not the red/blue for lower/higher ranked as previously tried, just relax it a bit and let the players choose what to wear.

5) More advertising (duh)

There is nothing wrong with the product.

Anonymous said...

Is there any truth in the story of the Grand Prix moving to Bahrain next year as they're guaranteed bigger audiences?

Anonymous said...

Whoever gave the thumbs up to hold the grand prix at the Kelvin hall in Glasgow needs sacking, give it to the secc, or as someone as said many big city's in England, its a total embarrassment (crowd wise) to world snooker.

Anonymous said...

this is in my opinion world snookers fault they should be promoting the events much better i also agree with 9.27 comments that big cities like birmingham and liverpool should have events and i feel that would make for much better attendances.

Anonymous said...

Snooker will never die. If they can't get sponsors for the tournaments in UK, move the entire tour, including the qualifiers, to China. With more than 20 cities having a 5 million+ population, China can easily accomodate 20 ranking tournaments in a year.

Anonymous said...

To the 2.41 poster.

5 years ago I told the manager of a top 8 player that his client could end up having to move to the far east to continue his career.

And it still seems on track.

Anonymous said...

The idea of in-keeping with the random draw that they should move the venue between key cities of the UK each year is the best suggestion so far.

Anonymous said...

There's a key fact that most people seem to be missing in the difference between the attendances last year and this year - last year the Grand Prix was scheduled during the October school holiday week and there were a lot of youngsters in watching. This year, World Snooker have foolishly not taken this into consideration and scheduled it a week before the school holiday. Yet another gross marketing error - and it's basic errors as well. Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

So we are hoping the kids get better crowds in for world snooker,whatever next why not hold a ranking event for each week in the school summer holidays.

Anonymous said...

Buddy, just look at the facts of the attendances from last year to this. It's not only the kids but also adults take their holidays during that week - attendances were very high last year. Snooker is a popular game from 8 and 9 years upwards. It made far better sense to schedule it that week than the previous - undeniable a fact despite what you say.

Anonymous said...

Buddy i agree with you about the kids, as you say snooker is a popular game but to rely on kids making up the attendance is not fair. So are you saying world snooker should make there ranking tornaments when the kids are off school just to bump up the crowd.
World snooker is in decline and to use kids as a get out clause is wrong.