Stuart Bingham began the new season in fine style by winning the annual Pink Ribbon pro-am at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester today.

Bingham, who defends his Australian Open title in Bendigo next month, won his last three matches without losing a frame. He had two centuries in beating Mark Allen 4-0 in the semi-finals and another two as he defeated Peter Lines 4-0 in the final. He receives a cheque for £2,400.

Paul Mount is a lifelong snooker enthusiast who runs a successful business supplying equipment to medical facilities. He built the impressive SWSA two years ago and all four UK PTCs will be held there this season.

It was a shame, given the nature of this event, that World Snooker ordered Mount to cease his website’s live internet streaming of play on Saturday.

Here’s what happened: a player, who had read (and seemingly memorised) his World Snooker contract, queried whether he would be in breach of it were he to play in a streamed match.

A phone call to World Snooker resulted in one of their executives informing Mount that, to avoid any such breach, the plug would have to be pulled.

I have spent part of today reading the players’ contract. I can only assume the problem was in section 3) Obligations of the Player, sub-section b) Commercial, Promotional and Performance Obligations, point x:

“[A player shall not] be party to any agreement or arrangement (whether in connection with a WSL Event or otherwise) which may knowingly conflict with the exercise or value of any of WSL’s rights to exploit the WSL Events and any elements thereof by any and all commercial means and in any and all media now known or hereafter invented.”

In other words, because of the contract to live stream tournaments and qualifiers, this free stream creates a conflict.

I’m not a lawyer and am mindful of how easy it is to criticise things you don’t fully understand but, if this is the reason, then it seems a little heavy-handed to me. The weekend’s play in the Pink Ribbon wasn’t clashing with any alternative snooker available on liveworldsnooker.tv.

Perhaps Mount should have checked the streaming situation before the event began, but putting a tournament together from scratch involves so much work that you can understand how contractual minutiae such as this can be overlooked.

I’m sure if Mount applies for a sanction to stream the event next year that it will be granted. There’s no reason not to if it isn’t clashing with a World Snooker tournament. Mount hasn’t set up a rival World Championship. This is a pro-am designed to raise money and awareness for breast cancer charities.

Mount’s team works very hard to put it together. He is a man who has put money into the game in an era where all the talk seems to be about how much can be taken out of it.

Furthermore, the Pink Ribbon is an event which brings out the best in the players. Some who didn’t even enter still gave money. Some gave their prize money to charity.

Such enterprises should be applauded – and encouraged.


Anonymous said...

I don't see the point of tournaments like this.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous - Wow, that's a well-founded opinion right there.

Anonymous said...

The match between Bingham versus Allen was the battle of good over slight evil.
I suspect Bingham has his number now, not his mobile number but the Indian sign over his crestfallen oppo.

Janie Watkins said...

Sorry Dave. small correction.
The prize fund was £10,000, generously given by MIUS
The winner picked up £2,400 and a rather tasty Peter's Hamper, which, naturally, included a bottle of Pink Champagne!

I can also confirm that Stuart and Mark were chatting together after their match and at the presentation Stu stood up and applauded when it was announced that Mark had donated his prizes money to the charity.

To anyone who can't see the point of events like this, please accept my personal invitation to be our guest for the duration of next year's Pink Ribbon.

Janie Watkins said...

I have just received the first application for next year's Pink Ribbon.
Not sure if this was from your anonymous poster!!

...hello there can
you tell me how i apply for next years pink ribbon...

Anonymous said...

World Snooker should hang their heads in shame for such heavy-handedness.

Why on earth couldn't a bit of common sense have been applied and (allbeit wrongly) turned a blind eye on this one occasion and mentioned it on Monday so that future events received consent.

Surely retrospective consent could have been granted.

Dave H said...

Thanks Janie, I have corrected the story

Anonymous said...

The world can sleep easily now that the Bingham/Allen war has ended.
Next the middle eastern crisis.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that certainly doesn't reflect well on World Snooker. It puts them in an unpleasant light when they effectively pull the plug on an event raising money for cancer treatment. Barry needs to get that one sorted out quick smart. No wonder Ronnie's got issues with the player's contract. I bet this is the real reason Hendry retired: it wasn't a scheduling conflict, his contract simply prevented him from doing both.

Anonymous said...

which executive was it Dave? I think we need to know because there cannot be a more miserable and uncharitable person on the planet than he or she ... I sincerely hope it wasn't Jason Ferguson or Barry Hearn ...

Anonymous said...

Given that Paul Mount has essentially given World Snooker for nothing the purpose built qualifying venue they nearly bankrupted themselves trying to build in the 90s (according to Sir Clive's book anyway) it seems incredible that they would come down on him like this.

The real issue is whether this would have put WS in breach of their broadcast contracts (presumably that is the only reason this provision is in the Player's Contract. It strikes me that World Snooker have simply said no rather than bothering to go through the detail of their broadcast contracts - surely there is someone within World Snooker / Matchroom who could have done this.

Presumably they will need to do this anyway because there are there other streamed tournaments (the Tredegar one? the General Cup?) where this will be an issue again.

Fin said...

To be honest i'm disgusted by World Snooker taking this stance. Paul Mount as stated by Dave has been a staunch supporter of snooker and his SWSA facility is nothing short of world class. In this day and age with the growth of the game people like Paul should be encouraged and fully backed by World Snooker.
We are all aware that World Snooker run and rule the game but flexing it's muscles like it did last weekend was uncalled for. The last thing it should do is begin to alienate people and players alike.
One thing everyone should all remember is that this was a charity event and correct me if i'm mistaken but isthis the only charity event on the calendar?
Full marks to the players who donated their winnings to the cause it's just a pity World Snooker did'nt feel so chariatable.

Anonymous said...


Statement from Barry Hearn: "On behalf of World Snooker I would like to apologise for bringing a premature end to live streaming from the Pink Ribbon tournament yesterday.

I am a great admirer of Paul Mount and his wonderful team at SWSA in Gloucester and I fully support their efforts to raise awareness of breast cancer.

I can announce that next year's Pink Ribbon tournament will receive the full support of World Snooker. As such, we will be providing live streaming through our official streaming service, complete with commentators. We will charge just £1 for access to the service and all monies raised will be donated to charity."

....then I woke up!

Anonymous said...

Can anybody clarify this seasons snooker TV coverage. I am assuming it is
- BBC four tournaments UK, Masters, Welsh & World
- Sky Sports - Premier League & Shoot Out
- Eurosport, the BBC four, European PTCs, all major overseas ranking tournaments, PTC Final
- Official Streaming - UK PTCs & qualifiers

Dave H said...

Sky are also showing the World Seniors

Anonymous said...

He means proper tournaments, not some pensioners reunion Dave.

Anonymous said...

Not a bad standard for a pensioners reunion, mouthy at 4,47. When you consider that the winner of the last but one ranking tournament(Ebdon), couldn't get past the first round last year.

Anonymous said...

Proper tournements like the shootout an p.l. without defending champ?

Anyway, good piece dave, nice to be able to read well written snooker news+background. Keep it up.