The BBC’s decision to extend its contract to show the World Championship, UK Championship and Masters is good news for snooker in the UK.
The sport’s profile in its traditional home is maintained by having exposure on terrestrial television.
The BBC first broadcast snooker in black and white before Pot Black in 1969 brought the game into living rooms in full colour.
It led to a boom which in turn created the professional circuit, so snooker has much to thank the BBC for.
They used to show five network tournaments, now it is down to three. The new deal gives the BBC an option to show a fourth from 2014.
The BBC is a public service broadcaster so sport is one of the things it should be showing but it has been outbid in recent years by Sky Sports and others.
The snooker deal is good for them for another reason: 25% of its output has to be produced by independent production companies. The snooker is produced by IMG. Snooker Extra exists solely for this reason.
The new BBC deal is likely to ensure that the Crucible will continue to host the World Championship until 2017, bringing it to 40 years as the home of the sport’s premier event.
In this ever changing snooker world, it provides continuity and helps the game to maintain a stronghold in Britain, where it first flourished nearly a century ago.