3.12.09

WHAT THE PAPERS SAY

Yesterday's AGM has brought coverage and comment in UK newspapers and other media outlets.

Here is a selection...

Phil Yates in The Times.

Clive Everton in The Guardian.

Ronnie O'Sullivan gives his reaction in the Daily Express.

Hearn talks to The Sun.

He says he wants to keep the World Championship at the Crucible in the Daily Telegraph.

Comment from the Daily Mail.

And from the BBC.

Report from Sky Sports.

Account of Walker's exit from Eurosport.

More from the Mail.

Hearn promises a new era of openness to the Press Association.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A60280256

Dave H said...

Whoever wrote that has completely missed the point. Hearn was talking about having more tournaments but playing them over a shorter amount of time - he never mentioned shot clocks. Indeed, to lay this canard to rest once and for all, the shot clock was Sky's idea not his.

Hysterical wittering on without knowing the full facts might be entertaining but it's also completely pointless.

How about waiting for Hearn to become chairman, seeing what his plans actually are and giving him a chance to implement them?

oneball said...

It was me what wrote it guvnor :)

Hysterical wittering! I admit it was taking one article deliberately out of context and was written to provoke a response. Someone needs to counter the over the top euphoria going around at the moment. I've even seen mention of Hearn being like Jesus - admittedly the person who wrote it claimed it was written in jest but it's not far off how some are reacting.

I will give the man a fair chance like everyone else. With Steve Davis at his side there will be someone with a passion for the game to put the common sense view forward. However I will always be a voice against gimmicks like shot clocks which water down this great game into something it's not.

I'm not saying Hearn invented or is an advocate of it, but his comments about snooker tournaments being too long and the need for quick results and quick entertainment does seem to suggest his thinking is in the direction of shot clocks and best of 3's and surely that will be met with staunch opposition to the masses of "anoraks" who live for this game.

However a few events here and there as above is fine as long as it is in conjunction with the main higher point tariff ranking events taking place globally with some expansion into more UK format best of 19 tournaments and events like that.

Something for everyone. Maybe that's where he's coming from. Time will tell.

Dave H said...

Fair enough...but I really do think it's best to just wait and see what plans are in place.

What I do know is that TV companies who haven't shown snooker for a while have been getting in touch, so it looks like more snooker - however long it is and in whatever format - is on the way.

oneball said...

This is great news obviously. It's been way too long since for example Sky covered a ranking event. At least with them you know you're guaranteed wall to wall coverage with plenty of analysis and importantly interviews in between matches which will boost player profiles and give the audience a reason to support or boo a player.

I would really like to see an event similar in layout to the World 9-ball pool held in Cardiff a few years ago. Wasn't Hearn behind that? Take that and the British Open "FA Cup of" darts as your models and it can work big time. And it can work without gimmicks.

porridge said...

about shot clocks in general: they will not be implemented in ranking tournaments, because in two-table sessions things could get messy with constant beeping.

god i would actually love to have shot clocks in every ranking tournament, if it wasn't for this reason. these ranking tournaments have some sort of jaded ring to it, when these traditionalists talk about some sort of "higher status" and what this mysterious "higher status" requires. all of this is frankly too abstract for me cos at the end of the day, all tv sports should be JUST entertaining with constant feed. that essentially is "its job". snooker's biggest problem is that it tends to take itself too seriously all the time.

i love the premier league snooker. it's everything snooker should be, when we're talking about televised version of the game. people often talk about healthy viewing figures, but forget at the same time that snooker is probably most "idled" sport of all sports. don't know if "idled" is a word, what i mean by it is that snooker is there on the background when talking to your missus or doing the dishes or whatever.

shot clock has done the same kind of good to snooker, as the current point system did for volleyball. while it may not standardize the length of matches, it still makes everything more compact. i'm a student and unemployed, but still i don't want to spend something like three and a half hours or even more watching snooker at one go, no way. it's frankly too much and it's got NOTHING TO DO WITH SHORT ATTENTION SPAN. i myself may have one, but still...

sorry for length. and actually: the length of this post goes to show the problem. no-one will read this in the whole, just like no-one watches every shot in a snooker match. if someone really does claim that they do, they're lying. snooker commentators are the only ones who do. that's my take of it.

but hey, i'm really sorry for length. just practised my english. i know the topic wasn't about shot clocks, but i felt that it's now or never. :)

Anonymous said...

I really, really miss the Sky coverage of ranking events. Don't get me wrong, the BBC coverage is excellent, but it's nice to have more Snooker on TV, and Snooker covered well at that.

If SKY come back to the table then the only way is up for Snooker.

G said...

Has Barry Hearn been appointed yet? Surtely ALL this is idle speculation until that happens? I know it's expected, or more than expected, but really, anything can happen.

Dave, can you let us know, if you have any details, about this? When can we expect to see an appointment? Are there other candidates for the position? Do the players get to choose or is it up to the two remaining people on the board now?

Would love to know, as much as anyone knows, but I'd like to know more about the processes involved.

Thanks!

G

Anonymous said...

But the big problem is that all the TV companies getting in touch want missed pots, foul shots and poor safety efforts to be punished by eating bugs and dropping spiders, rotten fish and kangaroo balls from a great height on unsuspecting players. I just can't see this taking off, the table would get messy for a start.

Anonymous said...

Oh well, the dreaded shot clock.

I really don't understand what's so exciting about matches where both players drag each other into a state where they are agonising over every shot for minutes.

Introduce a shot clock of 40 seconds, like they have it in 10-ball pool with 3 or 5 extensions per frame and player and you're good to go.

I think this would even help players to stay focused and it might lead some players to at least take a risk sometimes. High quality tactical battles are great to watch but two players going for absolutely nothing and playing safety first for hours is just boring.

Dave H said...

Hearn is meeting with WPBSA representatives today.

I'd expect an annoucement tomorrow

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

Cheers for the links.

If Hearn does bring in enough revenue through TV, advertising and sponsors, then the tournaments will come (back?) and I would then like to see integrated various formats; Shot clock, 10 reds, group table and world series tournaments. I would like to see them all endorsed under the world snooker umbrella IF the game has enough 15 red world ranking/invitational tournaments on the calendar.

Good to hear that IMG still want to move forward with Hearn. That should see the BBC contracts reinforced with security with regards their tournaments.

And it goes without saying it would be lovely (for starters) just to have back the British/International Open back on SKY or Eurosport, and the Champions Cup on ITV4. Hearn has to strong a hold with Darts on TV, that Walker probably never had.

Also, is world snooker moving away from Britol now Hearn is involved and is the PA contract under threat?

Thanks, Joe

Ruthie said...

I'm delighted that Barry Hearn has said explicitly that he wants full control. There are some people out there who will have to accept that for them to make more money, Mr. Hearn will make money too. That's what the man is about, he's a genius entrepreneur. It took the near-death of the sport for people to buck up and realise that if they can have a great career and set themselves up financially for life, it shouldn't matter who the promoter is. They've cut their noses off to spite their faces enough: now is the time to watch the sport take off again and everyone - fans, players, referees, journalists, TV companies, sponsors, stand to gain from this. I especially liked the random capitalisation of the word NOW is Mr. Hearn's press release. Let's not waste any more time!!

SupremeSnooker.com said...

I don't have an email address for Phil Yates, but a small error in his piece today: It's Professional Darts CORPORATION, not Council, as he said.

It used to be called the World Darts Council, but a court case with the BDO forced them to change it over the licensing of the word 'World'.

Never fancied being a sub-editor though!

As for what happens next, let's wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Ian White said...

Hmmm...shot clocks...i don't think we should get paranoid about shot clocks, 6 reds,or best of 3's.
I think the point that Hearn was making was that snooker simply needs a shake up (hence the "...it's gonna be fun" comment)
If you want to hark back to the glory days of the 80's and early 90's then think what sort of tournaments were around. You had your regular best of 9's, the premiere UK & Worlds but then you had the World Doubles, World Teams, Pot Black, Elite Top 16(Benson & Hedges) then the odd mad tornos like Kit Kat world champions, World Matchplay and from a keen amateurs point of view the best of all, that bizzare event that had womens, mixed doubles, kids etc all playing on loads of tables at the same time.

The point is that there was VARIETY !!

Yes, not all of them worked but most did to some degree and it kept interest alive in all areas from the players, the press & the viewing public.

So my point is, don't knock it until you've tried it. If Hearn himself doesn't really know what he's going to do yet no-one should start jumping to conclusions.

Anonymous said...

"Introduce a shot clock of 40 seconds, like they have it in 10-ball pool with 3 or 5 extensions per frame and player and you're good to go."

What all this sort of talk fails to realise is that any such rule would cause mayhem in clubs across the land. The other day I saw two what must've been 10 year olds playing and one of the poor little sods was stuck in an impossible snooker and his mate kept putting him back in using the miss rule they'd obviously seen on tv! In the end he ran out of points!

Can you imagine your opponent having to look at a stopwatch and call out "5 seconds" and the arguments and fights that would ensue? Not to mention the genuine gamesmanship opportunities.

I'm from the same school as most. There's nothing I enjoy more than escaping from the real world and sinking into a good snooker match on television. Shot clocks don't stop the grinders from playing negatively - just look at how long Marco Fu managed to string frames out in the Premier League. But shot clocks do add an urgency to proceedings and it's generally to the detriment of quality, and it's not as relaxing to watch making it harder to really get into a match. It adds a bit of variety but that's about it. Some players can cope, others can't. But if you're going to do it, 25 seconds is the way to do it to make it a feature, away from the norm. Upping this to 40 seconds and making it a rule is totally unneccesary and opens a whole can of worms.

Dana said...

I hope (for no UK residents) that Hearn won't forget about us, we cannot watch your SkySport or BBC Sport and other sport programme just for UK residents, we can watch just Eurosport, so I hope he will hold agreement with EUS too.

Anonymous said...

Sky won't take any more snooker. There was a lack of viewers with their last ranking event coverage, and that was with a healthy economy. Sky know what their bread and butter sports are, and introducing more ranking snooker back to their schedules is not on the cards.

Dave H said...

Who said anything about ranking tournamnents?

jamie brannon said...

So you reckon more Premier League style events? I had heard a rumour of him resurrecting the World Matchplay. It would be nice too see the World Cup on the agenda.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Hi Dave
Your blog lad has more than a fare share of optimists, with unfettered faith in Barry Hearn ability to bring back the glory days of snooker.

Sponsors are businessmen not speculators or gamblers but are mostly shrewd or they wouldn’t exist. A barometer to use Dave is: --If one of our millionaire snooker players was to throw X pounds into the ring for starters, the amount of money would be matched quickly and possibly more than once. I think the expression Dave is: “Put your money where your mouth is”

Sir Rodney would not have taken the job; except there was a generous hoard of tobacco money left over when Rex Williams was chased for not constantly increasing prize money. Rex a shrewd operator wanted to invest in property which was then booming but was ousted without thanks.

Barry will do great Dave; but being more or less shanghaied into the job is always without blame. Barry can try some things out before he turns to the members and punters for donations. Mr hey you