Over the course of the World Championship I’ve challenged one snooker aficionado to highlight the best quirky, outlandish, unusual, laughable and questionable observations of each day.
As if to further enhance his (or her!) alter ego as snooker’s sleeper, this spy has elected to go through the tournament in disguise.
Read below for day six’s offering, but who is behind the Free Ball?
By Free Ball
Last night, I was ready for the Ding versus Higgins match to start, but predicted it wouldn’t be on the Red Button at 7pm. I can understand why the BBC would choose to show the end of Murphy and Hull; at 7-2 up, Murphy was odds on to win, and wrap it up quickly enough. He did. But things could be done better.
I remember enjoying digital TV in its birth. Lots of new free channels – most of them rubbish. But the BBC had three extra channels sat there waiting to be used for live events. Great idea. When The Corporation had a snooker event on, not only was BBC Two eating up hours in the afternoon, two Red Button channels were showing both sessions live.
So what happened? The Red Button been reduced to one match shown now, and BBC Two’s coverage has been dumbed down steadily. On the first morning of this World Championship, BBC Two’s coverage stopped for surprise, surprise, a repeat of a cookery programme. It could have at least been the excellent Coast, but that’s usually kept behind for early sporting finishes.
The Beeb does have the two table choice online, but not everyone has an internet facility. The production is obviously in place, so why not blow the cobwebs off one of the defunct channels, or crack open the Family Guy channel, I mean BBC Three, for the afternoon?
The pot shouldn’t be stirred too much when it comes to the BBC though. Barry Hearn’s mantra since he took over the reins has always been that, as long as Sheffield’s local authority and the BBC were on board, the World Championship would stay at the Crucible, and remain on terrestrial TV. So I never wrote this, and you never read it, right?