2011 will feature more televised snooker than we’ve seen in a decade with an increased number of tournaments and a greater global reach for the sport.

Territories long since discarded will be revisited with a ranking event in Germany and the World Cup in Thailand.

There will be the first professional event ever staged in Brazil, a revamped Welsh Open, a One-Frame Shootout and much, much more.

2010 was in many ways a year of transition as Barry Hearn took over the reins of power at World Snooker Ltd. In 2011 we will see his influence come to the fore.

He says he is about to sign new broadcast deals with the BBC and Eurosport to screen the major events in the years to come.

There is a feeling of a new start after years in which the game went backwards but it’s a tribute to snooker, and in particular the top players, that the game has survived in relatively good health.

I’ve no doubt I won’t agree with every decision Hearn makes but he deserves support. He has the contacts, the influence and, above all, the skill to take the game forward.

He respects the traditional aspects of snooker – which is why the majors remain unchanged – but has the imagination to come up with different formats and try and stir up interest where it was previously lacking.

Snooker can’t rely on the ‘if we build it they will come’ principle. It’s a sport that is no longer fashionable to many but fashions come and go and it can have its time again.

The UK will always be the game’s traditional home but its future lies in markets far way, in Asia, continental Europe and elsewhere.

The recent IBSF World Amateur Championship featured players from over 40 countries. That tells you the interest that exists across the globe and this must now be harnessed.

I feel enthusiastic about the year ahead. On table I have no doubt it will be as exciting as ever. Off table it is, for once, secure.

Snooker in 2011? Bring it on!


Matt said...

I'm looking forward to it this is what snooker needed. Any news on new tournaments going to broadcast on terrestival television or Freeview? A tournament in Brazil who would have imagined that in 2009? Barry Hearn has definitely helped snooker this year. The World Open was a good tournament, who will broadcast that in 2011? I hope there will be more tournaments televised on Freeview or BBC and ITV. Doubt Channel 4 want anything to with that. Thanks for the blog this year, Dave. Happy New Year to you and snooker and everyone who contribuites to the blog.

Definitely agree with that statement Dave 'Snooker in 2011? Bring it on?.

Asia will defintely want to be of it with Ding Junhui helping snooker in China, expect more people from China to play snooker.

Anonymous said...

It's good to see the game begin to thrive again. It's got a long way to go to get to be the force it was back in the 80's and 90's and quite honestly, as you hint at in your piece Dave, it probably won't get back to that level of popularity.

In the last decade, much has been lost. Many turned their back on the game, so plaudits must be paid to the people who stayed the course, who could also have so easily walked away but stayed for the love of the game through thick and thin. Without them, it's probable that the game could have descended even lower, so much so that it would never have recovered, even with BH in charge.

I take my Christmas hat off to them and hope that what they contributed is not forgotten.

Ray said...

How long before some of these players realise they are so lucky that Barry is at the helm? Who would have blamed him for saying "Snooker? I don't need all the aggravation and nonsense that goes with it". But he knows exactly where he came from and it was through his business acumen and Steve Davis' snooker talents that snooker prospered in the 80s. Under Barry it has and will continue to prosper again.
It really makes me laugh that some players don't help the cause. They think playing in the PTCs etc. is beneath them. What do they want for goodness sake? Perhaps a period of manual work would help them to wake up! They should all be pulling in the same direction and see that it's in their interests to do so.
By the way when are Clive Everton and Barry Hearn going to be honoured for their services to sport?
Happy New Year to all.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Dave and fellow bloggers. Like you I can see that snooker will be onwards and upwards from now on under BHs leadership. As they say - you ain't seen nothing yet.

On another subject could you give us a full rundown of prize money for the newly sponsored 2011 Masters.Is it more than last year or the same?

Anonymous said...

Do you know if Eurosport will pick up the German Masters? Would be great if they did. Thank you David for your blog this year, it has been a good read.

jamie brannon said...

I can't wait as 2010 has been a stellar year. Like with any sport if the action is watchable then for me, that is the key reqiurement.

There is so much nonsense surrounding football, but ultimately the football itself means you don't turn your back on the game.

However, snooker now has a supremo who is exciting me with the variety of the schedule and his promise not to impinge on the 'BIG 3' events.

As BDO compere Martin Fitzmaurice would say: Let's play snooker!

Dave H said...

Yes the German Masters will be on Eurosport

Anonymous said...

happy new year dave

in fact, happy new year everyone (except the ronnie fans)

Anonymous said...

Brannon says that there is so much nonsense talked about football but he uses a Peter Drury comment about the action being "watchable".

Let's hope your beloved Ronnie is more "watchable" than shameful this year.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year to everyone, without exceptions.

Mr. Hendon, I take it you're sharing the sentiment expressed by Anon 4:43. In this case some kind of statement that fans of certain player(s) are not welcome here would have been nice.

Dave H said...

I don't share the sentiment

master_den said...

good post-review

Anonymous said...

The snooker matches will be as competitive as ever.

The big question is....how many self inflicted 'scandals' can we look forward to ?

Anonymous said...

I seem to remember a well known snooker magazine having the front page banner which read "A Merry Christmas to most of our readers".

Matt said...

For the Anon asking about the Masters prize money:

Winner: £150,000

Runner-up: £75,000

Semi-finals: £30,000

Quarter-finals: £20,000

Last 16: £15,000

High break: £15,000

Total: £500,000

Anonymous said...

That prize fund is coming out of Ladbrokes own pocket isn't it? Or so i've heard. Anyway, let's hope they stick around after this year.


Anonymous said...

Ladbrokes would have stuck around after their first foray in 2003/4 were it not for the fact that darts was a more professionally run outfit with a brighter future - and so it proved. For years after, snooker struggled to get sponsors of any kind Now snooker has its house in order though, people are getting interested in sponsoring the game again.

Anonymous said...

anon 400

i was the one you were replying about.
i make no apology for my feelings.
that was a comment from me.
how you thought davis would share it just by me posting it is rather silly.
have a happy new year (uyaarf)

Anonymous said...

or david?

david !