BBC extends deal with World Snooker
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has penned a three-year extension to its agreement with World Snooker, the administrative body of professional snooker.
The sponsorship extension, which lasts until the end of the 2013/14 season, sees the BBC remain as host broadcaster of the World Championship, to be played from the 16th of April to the 2nd of May at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre. Additionally, the BBC will broadcast the UK Championship, the Welsh Open and snooker's longest running and most prestigious invitational event, the Masters, which is currently being held at Wembley Arena.
Barry Hearn, the World Snooker chairman expressed his delight: "We are absolutely thrilled to extend our partnership with the BBC for a further three years. It's a great day for our sport; for the administration, the players, and most of all the fans, who are guaranteed many hours of uninterrupted coverage of snooker on a free terrestrial channel. Last year, 18.7 million people watched at least 15 minutes of the World Championship, which proves that there is a great appetite for the sport in the UK.
"The World Championship, which has been extensively covered by the BBC every year since 1978, as well as the Masters, the UK Championship and the Welsh Open have become part of the sporting fabric of the nation. These events are among the jewels in the crown of the sporting calendar and it is fantastic that they are to remain on the BBC,” said Hearn. "Snooker has come a long way over the past year with new tournaments, new sponsors and new broadcast deals. This agreement with the BBC strengthens our foundations and allows us to keep pushing forward with the sport's new era.”
Barbara Slater, BBC’s director of sport, added: "We're delighted to have renewed our partnership with World Snooker. The BBC has a proud history of coverage of top class snooker and we're looking forward to continuing to bring the highest quality coverage to our audiences."
The World Open is the only major snooker competition that will not be broadcast by the BBC as this year as it will be played outside the UK.
The deal follows World Snooker’s recent announcement that bookmakers Ladbrokes would be the title sponsor of The Masters, in a one-year deal worth over US$700,000.
- Length of contract: 3 years