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PSB Poll: World Snooker Streaming – Your View

Following the début given to World Snooker’s new streaming service yesterday, we have now had a chance to digest the news, assess the coverage and also to consider the viability of the initiative. Will it work?

For a number of years now there has been a section of snooker fans that has campaigned for the introduction of online streaming, initially for qualifying tournaments and more recently for the PTC events which while great for the players, have proven inaccessible for fans unable to follow the action thanks to a poor livescores service and a lack of live streaming.

Times are changing however and following the introduction last season of a much-improved livescoring system, World Snooker have now introduced live-streaming at this week’s Shanghai Masters, covering two tables per session and giving fans the opportunity to finally watch matches that are of an increasingly high standard with the strength in depth on the 99 man main tour.

As explained yesterday, fans will be able to watch the service for free (following an initial deposit of £5.00 anyway) over on betting websites such as bet365 or Betfair, or alternatively pay £2.99 per month to watch via World Snooker’s new TV service (see more here).

 

As far as the quality of the service is concerned I can speak only for the free service with the bookmakers at this stage but the quality is more than good enough, near-identical to that offered for the well-established Championship League tournament, unsurprising given that the same company are running the show.

For fans such as myself who follow the sport closely then it goes without saying that this is excellent news and opens up the opportunity to watch more matches than ever before. I have been to the World Championship qualifiers for the past three years and in many ways have enjoyed the action as much as, if not more than some of the snooker at the Crucible stages so have seen first-hand just how high the standard can be.

I am not blind however to the fact that snooker fans come in all shapes and sizes and with varying degrees of interest in the sport. Some will like me be interested in the professional tour right down to the bottom, some only the televised majors and some will fall somewhere in between and I am interested to see just how many of you are actually interested in watching the qualifiers and/or PTCs.

 

As well as being nosy, it is of interest because ultimately the livestreaming can only be sustainable if sufficient revenue is generated from viewers, either directly by those subscribing to the World Snooker service or indirectly via the bookmaers. Only time will tell as to whether this will work in the long term, but from the point of view of a fan who is interested in watching these matches, I sincerely hope that it is.

Will you pay for the service? I must confess that at this stage I personally do not see a reason to subscribe to the World Snooker service as I am perfectly happy with the stream provided by the bookmakers – but this could change depending on the official service. For example will footage be archived? For someone like me who has a full-time job, if I could watch the matches that I will inevitably miss during working hours later in the day then I could be persuaded to part with my cash. Alternatively a highlights package, something akin to football’s Match of the Day could also be worth exploring. It is very early days so we shall see how it does develop.

I have created a couple of polls above for you to cast your verdict and would be interested to hear any of your comments or questions on the subject.

  • http://alan.blog-city.com/ Alan

    I was one of those fans campaigning for such a service for a long time and I welcome this with open arms. I paid my money today and have already watched a lot of snooker, leaving it on in the background, while I do my normal day job.

    I have an account with BetFair already, but I sprung for the exclusive stream as I want to support this effort and hope it grows. The quality is fantastic, with on-screen live scores and multiple cameras. This was something i wasn’t expecting out of the gate.

    I had a need to talk to their customer support today and they got back to me instantly. So all in all a great start.

    Sadly there is no schedule up at the official site as to who is playing who and when. Steve Davis plays tomorrow so looking forward to that. A match I would have otherwise have had to miss.

    What needs to happen though, is to increase the social aspect of this service. I would like to see live-in-page chat so I can share my thoughts about shots with other viewers. Note there is no commentator on these streams but you do hear the ref and the noise of the balls. Its amazing when one of the players does a great show, and no applause. Fascinating to adjust to a different atmosphere.

    I would love to see archived games and go back and watch them.

    But its Day#1. I love it. More please.

    • matt2745

      On the point of the different atmosphere, absolutely know what you mean. When I went to the world qualifiers for the first time it took me a couple of frames to even start taking it in oddly…it felt so strange!

  • edd

    love ittttttttttt !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    i think Dave Hendon needs a job because of no applause leaving it on in the background is hard to know whats happening so commentary is something that should be looked at..

    other than that the £30 is worth every penny already and its only day 2 of 365 days of my purchase.

  • Rita Ramos

    I’m really excited for the live streaming. I always wanted to watch the qualifiers and specially the PTCs but it was impossible. I hope the service goes on for a loooong time!

  • Tatannes

    another step towards a snooker channel ?

  • Trevor

    Is ptc 2 being streamed next week ?.the reason i ask on the liveworldsnooker.tv website it gives a 14 day schedule but only has shanghai masters qualifiers on the list.anyone know ?

    • matt2745

      The exact details seem thin on the ground I agree. Hopefully something will be confirmed soon.

      • edd

        they obviously want to see how this week goes before announcing anything.

  • Jan

    I went to the site, being prepared to pay £29.99, or £2.99 per month, as I live in the UK, but I found that I was not offered that option.
    I was only offered a choice of £39.99, or £3.99 per month, and I do not feel prepared to pay that, as I understand that others have been able to get it for £2.99 per month, and I do not see why I could not have that option also.
    I have received no explanation as to why I am not eligible for £2.99 per month.
    Therefore, I decided not to subscribe.
    I am waiting, and hoping that World Snooker will eventually come up with an explanation of its pricing policy before I decide to go with this.
    I would have been happy to do it, had I been offered the £29.99 option.

    • beergitte

      I think the 33.99 and 3.99 is in Euro’s not in Pounds

    • matt2745

      I had exactly the same problem yesterday but it seems to be correct today, give it another go and see what it asks for…

  • tatannes

    Well, it might be easier to watch snooker in Artic circle if…

    BBC and Eurosport only show few direct coverage…
    and tell about te red button or eurosport player…
    especially on week ends.

  • AndyDad147

    I Subscribed the instant I heard of this service and I had problems with video playback. Tech support got back to me within 12 hours with a solution that worked. Now I am a satisfied snooker ‘nut’.

    Great quality streaming and no ads! I would urge any snooker fan to support this service instead of finding the streams elsewhere. I’ll be glued to my computer for these matches! Thanks Barry! 😉

  • RobG

    Hi Matt,

    I’ve been watching ‘nearly all’ of the snooker this week through bet365.com and I have a question that maybe either yourself or somebody reading this can answer? I cannot get full screen through bet365? Does the world snooker service offer a full screen service? If it does I might be willing to pay for it as I can connect my laptop to the TV and watch it that way!

    Anyway, keep up the great work!

    RobG

    • matt2745

      Hi Rob,

      Yeah it does, though they aren’t covering events that are on Eurosport such as this so it wouldn’t work today.