More people are watching snooker on television now than at any time in history.

There’s a self-indulgent British attitude that the only thing that matters is what happens in blighty but this ignores the fact that snooker is a global sport.

The Grand Prix will be broadcast on the BBC, Eurosport and various other channels around the world, either live or in the form of highlights.

TV channels in China are particularly ravenous for coverage and the total audience for the tournament will run into the many millions, dwarfing the numbers recorded in the UK in the 1980s.

These are deals the WPBSA deserve credit for signing, because they have brought the sport into living rooms in some unlikely locations and turned legions of people into lifelong fans of the green baize game.

Some of the BBC’s terrestrial transmission times from Glasgow have raised eyebrows – the Conservative Party Conference doesn’t help – but every ball of the event is live on the red button or on the BBC website, which most UK viewers now have access to.

The Eurosport player also has coverage of one of the tables and the TV channel will be broadcasting many hours live, although times may vary depending which country you are in.

Here in the UK, we like to think back to a golden age. Well I remember the ‘golden age’ and I remember having to wait for recorded highlights of major finals rather than watching them live.

Viewers will – as is their right – complain about commentators, camera angles, interviews, features and the rest but, the truth is, there has never been a better time to watch snooker on the TV.

And with the internet as well, it is even easier to keep up to date with the action.

Gone are the days when waiting until half past midnight for David Vine to appear was pretty much the only way of finding out what had happened.

Now, snooker much more regularly happens live before our eyes and the game's global footprint is growing every year.

One final thought: there are, apparently, some three thousand folk in Britain who still have black and white TV sets.

I assume they aren't snooker fans.


Anonymous said...

Hi Dave
What is wrong with this blog? Must all comments be aggreable and mundane?

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Dave Hendon
How are you. This is indeed a good post and a great effort in "Brain Washing”. Your article is full of truths, half truths, a touch of scare mongering, but mostly exaggerated truths on a subject that’s not mentioned—“Entertaining Snooker”. Dave you are preaching to the converted, we love the game, but it has run its course in blighty.

By all means Dave please go ahead and trumpet the game’s cause elsewhere, but your main interest Dave should be promoting the game’s origin (and copyright) here in England. Whether the game becomes a worldwide attraction in Russia, Americas, and China the product has a sell by date as TV entertainment, but still programme filler.

Be a wee bit honest with yourself Dave! Snooker will be sold back to us as soon as it becomes commercially viable for a big country to reorganise and take over. World Snooker will loose its Grip, simple because it has No Grip or a basis to fight or to make argument.

The world’s commerce is ruled by copyright Dave and W/S thinks that these initials W/S can give some kind of authority. China and the world will ignore the W/S in the same way that the snooker schools and coaches ignored the Joe Davis books on “Snooker Coaching”. World Snooker could face its first defeat by SPA. Mr hey you.

Top-Cat said...

The good old days burning the midnight oil, waiting for the snooker to come on at silly o'clock, teletext or was it ceefax back then was the only way you could get any results, how times have changed.

Dave H said...

The only thing I can see wrong with this blog is the endless postings from yourself

I'm going to make this really simple for you: nobody cares

You've made the same point over and over and over again and nobody cares

I have not taken my orders from Clive or Terry or Sir Rodney or Lee Harvey Oswald or anyone else

This is my blog, your constant spamming has long since been an annoyance to one and all and it ends here

Greg said...

Well said!

Anonymous said...


jamie brannon said...

I get the feeling you think I argue for the sake of it, but I have to dispute it is a global sport. I would like it too be, but a look at the ranking list would suggest otherwise and also the calendar for the forthcoming season would back me up. American football is shown in many countries, but you wouldn't say it is global? Good to see you mention the transmission times though, I mean on Monday and Tuesday they are closing the afternoon show at 4.30 rather than 5.15 just to show a quiz called Pointless, which sums it up really. Still should be a great event, and I'm tipping Higgins but not with much confidence.

Eric said...

"...who still have black and white TV sets. I assume they aren't snooker fans."

Wrong! I learned and fell in love with the game of snooker watching it on a black and white telly in my student's room back in the eighties. Though I have to admit that it's only got better once watching it in full colour. ;-)

Nice post, btw.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, except for one thing. I think you're being a bit kind saying he's made the same point over and over again. This guy clearly has no point.

Anonymous said...

Go Dave! Well said!

Dave H said...

Jamie - it's global in terms of the interest. That hasn't translated into more players from outside the UK because of the failure of the governing body to develop a proper global plan.

Janie (Griff fan) Watkins said...

The game is GLOBAL (ooh nice word Global!) I set up global snooker centre way back in 1997 because I perceived that the global interest and participation deserved a great awareness and coverage than it was receiving.

The problem with many viewers and fans is they can't see past the top few players and bbc matches.... tips of icebergs springs to mind

so watch out UK make sure you don't run into a thundering great Chinese iceberg and get sunk!

I'm afraid that these days awareness and attitudes of uk viewers are a very long way behind the times.

and to Mr Hey You. you can stop emailing me too because it's just going straight in the junk mail folder, just the same as all the post you used to send us at the Matchroom. Straight in the bin. I am and always will be a devout supporter of Terry Griffiths and his work in grass roots snooker and coaching. I had the privilege of working for Griff for more than ten years so you're wasting your breath addressing stuff to me.

Anonymous said...

So you was under Griff more than 10years god that mans a legend, the staying power of that man is incredible, they say it makes you go blind is that why you both wear glasses, lol only joking Janie good to see you give mr hey you what for.

Janie said...

LOL at Anonymous!

Actuall it was a privilege. It's another iceberg in fact. Few people ever see all the work that many players, referees and coaches and countless volunteers do behind the scenes down at grass roots.

Without that work we wouldn't have the quality of the professional players we see on our tv's.

Down at the Matchroom there are projects with special needs groups, retired groups, Schools tournaments and much more. Credit for much of that also goes to Wayne Griffiths, Terry's son, who is also a top qualified Coach.

But as well as coaching both Terry and Wayne are training new coaches around the world, who can carry on the work at grass roots level in their own regions and countries.

People tend to talk about who's coaching which top player, but that is only about 1% of what coaching work is all about.

Most of coaching is about engaging people in the sport, working with the local communities, schools, authorities etc and raising awareness and participation and probably most important, enjoyment of the sport.

you can check out more about learning to be a coach or getting some coaching at www.terrygriffithsmatchroom.co.uk

Here endeth the lesson!

Eurig said...

I've been living in Melbourne, Australia for almost a year now and as a long time snooker follower I've been dissapointed at the coverage here. There is none!

You have the odd hour every now and then at about 3am on Fox Sports but thats about it.

Melbourne has a bunch of great clubs as well - Very friendly and enthusiastic, and the quality is also very good. Quinten Hann and Neil Robertson learnt their game here.

I can't think of anywhere else in the world with such great snooker players and absolutley no public interest in the game whatsoever!

Anonymous said...

You could get the eurosport player a small fee for that, or if you look around there are free streams available.

Alex said...

Snooker may now be global in terms of interest but that doesn't hide the fact that the game has utterly failed to capitalise, both operationally and commercially, on its exceptionally strong position in the 1980s. It has squandered the public's trust and goodwill.

Look at the facts.
1. Just six ranking tournaments this year - down 25% from last year.

2. Embarrassing attendances at the Grand Prix this weekend.

3. Prize money dwindling. The winner's share at the UK and Grand Prix is not much bigger now than it was in the early 1990s.

4. No sponsors at all for the Grand Prix, UK Championship and Masters.

Let's not pretend all is rosy. Snooker is in big trouble.

jamie brannon said...

American football has global appeal, but you need more than that for me. For starters I hear not a lot about much African or American interest in the game. I see your point about other countries playing, but the top level is what the game is judged on. I would like to see the game go global, but not many sports are, arguably just Football, tennis, boxing, cycling and Athletics at the top end anyway.