On Thursday night in the UK, Sky Sports, which has four channels, will put the Premier League snooker behind the red button until 10pm.
Under 21 football, US Open tennis, US golf and T20 club cricket take precedence.
Viewers with the right kit can still watch the snooker but it is an illustration of how far the sport has fallen on Sky.
It is worth reflecting how well Sky has covered snooker over the years.
With many hours to fill and with snooker a popular sport, in the early days of Sky they showed as much as they could get. They showed it all day long and all night long too.
In terms of production, they were ahead of the BBC with more cameras and more ideas. In turn, this led to the BBC upping their game.
Sky was the first to pilot interactive snooker with a choice of, at one point, three tables.
The problem in the end was that they were left with what were regarded as the lesser tournaments. These were still big events. The Scottish Open was always popular, not least because Stephen Hendry and John Higgins were winning so much, but they weren’t the World or UK Championships.
Sky bid big for the top events but the WPBSA felt they should remain on the BBC (the fact several WPBSA board members were also BBC commentators surely a coincidence.)
I think they were right, regardless of financials. If snooker disappeared from the BBC it could disappear in the UK completely.
Sky’s other problem was that the Scottish Open was played very close to the World Championship.
I’m told that at the end of the last contract, two WPBSA board members went to a meeting with Sky Sports executives hoping to renew. They were presented with newspaper cuttings in which players were generally reported to be dismissing the Scottish event as unimportant with the Crucible coming up.
Sky’s response was basically ‘then why should we show it?’
And they didn’t and haven’t shown a ranking event since.
Their snooker portfolio, understandably, revolves around ‘different’ events: the Premier League, World Seniors Championship and Shootout.
These are all entertaining competitions but not majors. A ranking tournament would beef up Sky’s snooker coverage but the truth is they no longer need snooker as they have so much other sport.
It is also true, as revealed in the Barry Hearn documentary shown on the BBC last May, that Barney Francis, Sky’s head of sport, does not believe snooker is a ratings puller.
His argument was that, in this day and age, snooker is too slow moving. All of Sky’s events have a shot clock (though this in itself doesn’t guarantee better snooker).
I think Francis is wrong. Sky shows a lot of Test cricket, which is also slow moving but, to many, is fascinating.
Snooker still does good business on the BBC, Eurosport and on other channels, so why not Sky?
Ironically, Francis is the son of Tony Francis, who used to present snooker for ITV.
Sky has not given up on snooker but it seems unlikely that it will make much of an effort to show any more of it than it does currently.
Hearn has historically supplied hour upon hour of various sports to Sky and has a very good relationship with them.
If he can’t persuade them to take more snooker then nobody can.