Has there ever been a more crassly stupid decision taken than the one made in Shanghai today to put Thursday's world final rematch between John Higgins and Mark Selby on a non-TV table?

For those of you watching in Europe, this was not Eurosport's decision. Indeed, the broadcaster lobbied hard to have it reversed.

Instead, Steve Davis v Dave Harold and Stuart Bingham and Stuart Pettman are being put in front on the cameras while Higgins v Selby and Ian McCulloch and Ryan Day are round the back.

What benefit is this to the game? Higgins v Selby is the match of the round and eagerly awaited after their gripping Crucible showdown.

The official - deeply flawed explanation - is that tables had been pre-assigned and tickets sold in the expectation that Ronnie O'Sullivan would be featuring.

So what? When O'Sullivan walked out of last season's UK Championship the paying public were fobbed off with the old excuse that 'players only appear circumstances permitting.'

Who would those who paid to see Ronnie rather watch: the world champion against the world runner-up or Bingham v Pettman? No disrespect at all to the two Stuarts but it's a no-brainer.

It's just yet another example of those people charged with promoting professional snooker selling it short.


Anonymous said...

Hello David

I have been following the Shanghai Masters all week on British Eurosport and I must admit when the draw was made this was the game (Higgins V Selby) that really stood out from the rest with Neil Robertson v Matthew Stevens a close second.
There recent final of the Warsaw Open was a cracker and I can't believe we are being deprived of this match. If this match was at the Grand Prix, Northern Ireland Trophy or Welsh Open this wouldn't have happened.
No disrespect to Steve Davis and Dave Harold I can see a long drawn out affair happening surely, not the best way to promote snooker in China.
I also find it strange that Stephen Maguires match with matthew Stevens is also on a non televised table, making way for Dominic Dale and Adrian Gunnell.
Next year for the first time Shanghai hosts an ATP Masters Series Tennis event, (the Masters events are the nine biggest events outside the Grand Slams) surely they're not going to reduce Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal & Andy Roddick to outside courts....


Anonymous said...

I can understand the "reasoning" behind the decision but disagree with it.
I certainly understand Davis being on a tv table,as he is the greatest snooker ambassador playing,and we should make the most of seeing him before we no longer have that option.However the Stuarts should be dethroned in favour of Higgins/Selby.
Let's hope they are all good matches.

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me from the layout that the non-TV tables have much less seats available than the TV tables. I suppose the Pettman-Bingham match is sold or nearly sold out (in anticipation of Ronnie), but there could also be spectators who bought tickets for Higgins-Selby (after all, it was pretty much a given they'd meet). How would they fit both audiences into the TV part of the arena if it's sold out already?

Dave H said...

Why wasn't Higgins v Selby chosen for TV before the event began?

However you look at it, it's a bad error