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.