110sport.tv, who stream the qualifiers, will this weekend branch out by showing a live boxing bout.
Perform, who show the Championship League, won the exclusive rights to broadcast the Ukraine v England World Cup qualifier last weekend.
They had half a million subscribers paying £12 a pop. In the words of an annoying teenage American girl in an annoying teenage American film: you do the math!
The internet could well revolutionise the way we view sport.
For those who doubt this and suggest that nobody wants to switch from watching their TV sets to huddling round a computer, it’s worth remembering that 60 years ago few believed television could ever usurp the radio.
110sport, or TSN as they were then known, attempted to pioneer webcasting of snooker a decade ago, showing the Scottish Masters and other events.
This was an age before broadband and so the comfort of watching depended on the strength of your connection.
For many snooker fans it was like those magic eye pictures newspapers used to publish at around the same time. You remember them: you’d stare at a distorted image for ten minutes until, finally, you got a headache.
These early 110 webcasts, in which I played a small part myself, were fun and relaxed. Sometimes too relaxed: viewers were once treated to a few seconds of a studio-bound Phil Yates eating his dinner, which is now probably the mainstay of one of the satellite channels towards the end of the Sky platform.
The technology has now changed to the extent that it is now possible to kick back and enjoy sport on the internet just as one would on the TV.
110’s coverage of the qualifiers is of TV broadcast standard. The Eurosport Player and BBC website offer fans a chance to watch every ball potted – and missed – from major tournaments if they so desire.
Watching online has its clear advantages. You can do so at work providing your boss doesn’t see you and can also watch on a train or beach or...well, wherever you can get a connection.
And you aren’t in the lap of the TV schedulers deciding when to broadcast their programmes.
Plus – and here’s the biggie – it’s global.
110 plan further events next year. Their chief executive, David MacKinnon, told me in an interview for the Sunday Herald last month that: “I honestly think snooker’s best years are still to come.
“It is hugely popular around the world and we will be running a number of events in 2010 in those areas where there is a market for the game. Despite what people say, snooker is alive and kicking.”
Indeed it is, and I hope the proliferation of small, independent tournaments that include 110’s events, the World Series, the Championship League, the Six Reds in Ireland, ONE FOR SEVEN, seniors events and any other showcase for our game can help to improve snooker’s fortunes by providing fans with action to watch in between all the majors.
The internet will play a large role in making this a reality, just as colour television did 40 years ago.
It may even be the sport's saviour.