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.


Anonymous said...

Is there any truth in the rumour that Hendry is considering a comeback when the ranking system changes over?

Anonymous said...

Options are never a great deal. It basically means that the WSA can't shop the world championship around but the BBC can pull the plug. If the BBC isn't willing to commit to the world championship then these are worrying times indeed for the future of snooker on the BBC.

Anonymous said...

what is the optional 4th event dave welsh open is it ?.

Anonymous said...

Think your misunderstanding the option situation.the option is only for the fourth event the other three events are secure and contracted.

Dave H said...

More likely a new event

Anonymous said...

Anyone know of the Welsh Open will continue to be broadcast as part of BBC deal?

Anonymous said...

Real shame if this '4th event option' means that Barry is trying to sell the BBC some gimmick tournament at the expenses of the Welsh Open. For UK events Hearn's 'innovations' seem to revolve around drinking / loud music / glamour models - and TBH I think it is beyond him to come up with a new tournament that will sell well and be attractive to BBC Viewers.

The Welsh is one of the longest standing tournaments and kept going even through the lean years of Walker's regime - it deserves better than to be bumped off the calender just because Barry doesn't want to take the risk of hiring a proper venue (i.e. the CIA) and trying to promote it properly. Presumably it has been good for BBC Wales and they would continue to cover it for the right price?

Anonymous said...

The Welsh Open is an independent BBC Wales event I think. I don't think the normal BBC has any say in whether BBC Wales broadcasts it.

Anonymous said...

"options are never a great deal"

options are a normal part of many contractual agreements, and are a fast track way of adding new items to an existing legal framework.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully this ends the constant nonsense that the "World" is going to move to China "shortly".

The bigger debate is will the "World" move to Ally Pally where there is room for a flat 128 tournament.

Sheffield is a lovely city, and the Crucible is a fine venue, but London is the (olympic) capital and more credible as a venue for a World Championship.

Why not swap venues when current contracts run out - ie Masters at Sheffield, World at Ally Pally London.

Anonymous said...

The only reason that SKY don't bother in putting in decent bids is the fact that there's no real characters in the sport today and those players at the top of the rankings are as dull as ditch water.

The days of Alex Higgins/Ronnie O'Sullivan/Patsy Fagan are long gone!

Anonymous said...

128 obviously deluded.

Anonymous said...

I think if you are going to keep the WC in Britain then it will probably have to be kept at The Crucible. The only strong argument for taking it away from Sheffield is to go to another country, which is going to have to happen one day if Snooker is going to walk the walk on its "international sport" aspirations.

Anonymous said...

Will the Regal Welsh be part of the new contract and who will sponsor it this year?

Anonymous said...

Not often I disagree with DH but bbc deal not good for the game. Rubbish coverage of the tournaments, not always on red button and with bbc cuts not even guaranteed to be on there at all, no HD onn bbc2 or red button, commentators frankly past their best and nauseating - there is little to commend it. Give the whole lot to Sky where all of the above will be eliminated. Full HD coverage of all matches and decent commentators, Everton, Yates etc - people who know a bit about the game apart from cliched out of touch ex players.

Anonymous said...

128, spot on

Anonymous said...

re 11:30

How many BBC snooker viewers havent got Sky Sports?

75 percent or more?

So giving it to Sky would be a great idea - not.

Anonymous said...

1243, I am not 1130...anyway

I think they should do what is best for the sport

I don't think they should say, lets keep it on the bbc as most people have access to it (in the uk at least).

I think they should say, lets do whats best for the sport in the long term.

if they think its better away from the bbc, I think they should ignore that YOU want it on a channel you've already got.

lots of sports, or certain parts of them aren't available on the bbc, even though they used to be. many have moved to sky etc.. and some have flourished too.

Anonymous said...

re 2:36

so the best thing for the sport is to loose 75% + of the viewers.

Great way to get new sponsors...

People are struggling to pay their fuel bills, paying for Sky Sports is hardly high on the pririty list :(

kildare cueman said...

11.30, Have to disagree with your point about the commentators. Ex players are what you need. They know the shots and the tactics, which is what I want to hear discussed. The non players drive me mad with their incessant waffle about stuff that has already happened that everyone already knows. How many max's a player has made every time the opening red is potted with a black. What has already happened in the match so far, even though we've been watching the same match since the start. Anyone can read stats or even memorise them. Its expert knowledge thats needed in commentary.

Anonymous said...

716, I like how you just pluck a % figure from thin air and use it as it would fit your argument.

I asked 33 people in my work yesterday if they had both sky sports and bbc.

29/33 had sky sports package.
2 of the 4 were women who said theyd no interest in any sport.
of the other two, one said theyd consider getting it if a sport they loved would be on it and not on the bbc any more.

so, yeah, just keep plucking any old figure you want to post and bolster your argument. those of us with half a brain, and in fact some with a full one, know you make them up.

have a nice day, storyteller