The world champion is rightly regarded as being an ambassador for snooker. His progress is followed keenly and he is expected to conduct himself in a professional manner: giving interviews, making personal appearances and generally representing the sport.

In this regard, snooker is lucky to have Graeme Dott, whose victory over Peter Ebdon in the 888.com-sponsored event last year was a well deserved triumph for this most determined of competitors.

Why, then, is he constantly being snubbed by the schedulers?

His first match as world champion was played at 10am in Belfast last August, the only session at the Northern ireland Trophy not televised.

At Wembley last month he was made to play in the morning at the Saga Insurance Masters.

And at the Malta Cup this week not a single one of his first three matches has been televised.

Today, he plays Shaun Murphy, who he succeeded as Crucible champion. This is an intriguing match but the TV cameras will instead be showing Stephen Hendry v Ali Carter. Of course, Hendry is a huge draw but we've already seen him twice and Dott not at all. (Eurosport, who show the event, have no say in this - it's decided by Malta TV and World Snooker.)

The Scot himself spoke out about this earlier in the week and has a valid point: if he is expected to behave like a world champion then he should be treated like one.


Anonymous said...

I agree, Dave.

Just to go one step further, Dott - since using his rugged tenacity to become world champion - will be a top 10 player for years to come, putting pressure on the TV company/World Snooker to allocate him the TV table.

After seeing O'Sullivan take 'advantage' of World Snooker's 'new laws' with regards pleasing himself, Graeme can consider himself poorly treated by the authorities. No wonder his first match of the new season at the N.I. Trophy ended up in defeat.

I take it the budget for TV production company's overseas for snooker events doesn't come close to what Sky/BBC put in? Three tables in Malta and only one TV table. Is this the same in China, and was it the same in Thailand? It may help next time to have cameras on at least one of the other tables for live links.

Finally, it is good to see that the group of snooker players identified as future top stars in the programme initiated at Sheffield in 2000 (Young Players of Distinction?) have shined at Malta this week. Murphy, Carter and, more importantly - and, finally at last - Ryan Day has made the latter stages of a world ranking event. Good for the future of the game.

Thanks, Joe

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave / Joe,

Good points all of them. Dott's consistency and competitiveness have been excellent, and should be profiled in televised matches as the world champion.

However, I don't blame World Snooker or television companies because messrs Hendry, O'Sullivan, Higgins and co are big draws and proven winners over many years and I'm sure Dott would receive the same coverage had he enjoyed the same level of prolonged success.


Anonymous said...


That is a good point. Maybe if Dott stays in the top 5 for a good number of seasons and makes the latter stages of big tournaments - tho, that is nigh on impossible these days with so little on the calendar - he will get the TV table and prime-time coverage at the majors.


Just on Craig's other point about Snooker journalism - how did you get your big break and did you start off as a sports journalist?

Or did you go through a snooker website then onto SnookerScene and picked up freelance - Eurosport/The Guardian (when Clive isn't) PA etc after?

As I notice, that most tabloids use sports journalists to cover the major snooker tournaments - like Peter Ferguson in the Mail - whilst the broadsheets employ Snooker Correspondents.

Thanks, Joe