Snooker’s 2014 World Championship reached an astonishing audience of over 330 million viewers worldwide.
Figures from the sport’s key global markets show that 331,144,000 people watched the tournament, which concluded on May 5 when Mark Selby beat Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final in Sheffield. This is the highest ever reach figure for snooker’s blue riband event and shows an increase of over 30 per cent on last year’s audience of 252,905,000.
The event was televised live by 12 broadcasters in 80 different countries with highlight coverage being shown by four further broadcasters, making the 2014 World Championship the most widely televised event in the history of the sport.
World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “This underlines the incredible growth of snooker as a global sport in recent years. In our key markets in the UK, Europe and China, we are beyond doubt one of the most attractive and popular sports. If we added on figures from other countries which took live broadcast of the World Championship, such as Thailand, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Mongolia, then the total would be even higher.
“The viewing audience is growing at a rapid rate, matched by the increase in the number of tournaments, the level of prize money, and participation levels worldwide. I am delighted by the progress that snooker has achieved, and we are fully committed to continuing this growth in years to come.
“We have just witnessed one of the most exciting World Championships in recent memory with dramatic matches and a remarkable standard of play. The new season has already started and there will be much more of the same in 2014/15.”