ITV Commit to Snooker

Barry Hearn’s second press conference of this year’s World Championship revealed a new five-year deal with broadcaster ITV.

The channel had already come back to snooker in recent years by first showing the World Open last season before a very successful production of the Champion of Champions during this campaign.

The Coventry invitational event continues, and is joined by another non-ranking tournament opened to the top 32 on a one-year money list called the World Grand Prix.

This commitment by ITV is a welcome boost for snooker in the United Kingdom and highlights that there is still strong demand for the sport on television in the region.

The new World Grand Prix will be contested from 16th to 22nd of March in 2015 with a top prize of £100,000 on offer to the eventual victor.

As well as this, Hearn also announced that next season’s World Seniors Championship and the Shoot-Out will be staged back-to-back on Sky, enabling the sports broadcaster the opportunity to provide a full week of live snooker.

In a press conference that fully surrounded television services, the World Snooker supremo also remarked on how the coverage on Eurosport continues to grow with a 50% rise in viewing figures in some instances for the channel.

In addition, Hearn acknowledged that more needs to be done with BBC in order to attempt to prevent live snooker on the flagship channels being stopped at crucial junctures of encounters – such as what happened during the Barry Hawkins and Dominic Dale deciding frame quarter-final yesterday.

All in all good news, though, from Hearn, as the encouraging signs of snooker’s growth continue to materialise.

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