Eurosport Extends Snooker Contract to 2016

As announced at World Snooker earlier today, Eurosport have extended their deal with World Snooker by five years to the end of the 2015/16 season and it will include more tournaments than ever before…

The key points of the deal can be summarised as follows:

  • The new contract will run from 2011/2012 to 2015/2016.
  • The amount of tournaments broadcast will now be 19 as opposed to the previous 10.

The tournaments to be broadcast during 2011/12 are:

 6-10 July 2011, Wuxi Classic, China
11-17 July 2011, World Cup, Thailand
18-24 July 2011, Australian Goldfields Open, Australia
25-28 August 2011, PTC Europe / Paul Hunter Classic, Germany
5-11 September 2011, Shanghai Masters, China
15-18 September 2011, Brazilian Masters, Brazil
30 September – 2 October 2011, PTC Europe, Poland TBC
21-23 October 2011, PTC Europe, TBA
27-30 October 2011 or 26 March – 1 April 2012, World Open, TBA
11-13 November 2011, PTC Europe, Belgium TBC
3-11 December 2011, UK Championship, York
16-18 December, PTC Europe, TBA
6-8 January 2012, PTC Europe, Germany TBC
15-22 January 2012, The Masters, London
1-5 February 2012, German Masters, TBA
13-19 February 2012, Welsh Open, TBA
14-18 March 2012, PTC Final, TBA
26 March – 1 April or 2-8 April 2012 , China Open, China
21 April – 7 May 2012, World Championship, Sheffield

As explained at World Snooker however, there is one important clarification to be made in respect of the UK:

“The deal does not feature coverage in the UK of the Masters, Welsh Open, UK Championship and World Championship and does not guarantee exclusive coverage in the UK of the World Open.”

So what can we make of this news? Frankly it is hard to find any negatives as having spoken to numerous overseas fans both in person and online during recent years, it is clear that Eurosport’s coverage has played a key role in developing the level of interest in the sport in mainland Europe that we saw at this year’s German Masters.

It is a shame that here in the UK it would appear that we will not see Eurosport continue to cover the major events as well as the BBC, indeed depending on who is in the commentary box, the Eurosport broadcast can sometimes be preferable. That said though, given the amount of snooker that they will be showing then I can understand the move from their point of view, particularly given the amount of other sports that they are contracted to broadcast.

Still, good news on the whole and it will be particularly good to see some action from six of the season’s PTC events…