See full press release below from the BBC Media Centre. Great that these three tournaments will remain free for at least another three years. Snooker fans may say… where is the Welsh Open (BBC Wales and BBC Red Button have historically shown this). I’ve asked the BBC to confirm if the Welsh Open will still be shown – and they say “…this is still under discussion” – I love the BBC’s Welsh Open coverage, and I hope it gets renewed, but with cuts needed at the BBC, this could well go, we’ll have to see. So, the BBC have the World Championship, UK Championship and the Masters whilst ITV4 has the Champion of Champions, the World Grand Prix, the Snooker Shoot Out and the Players Championships – so seven events will be free for the next few years. Chris
Extending the current agreement by two years, the new deal sees the BBC continue as host TV broadcaster of the three events known collectively as the Triple Crown – World Championship, the UK Championship and the Masters.
Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport, says: “With another exciting World Championships drawing to a close, there is no better time to reinforce our commitment to one of our nation’s most treasured sports.
“This deal keeps the three biggest tournaments in the snooker calendar on the BBC until 2019, and we know there will be millions of snooker fans across the country celebrating the fact that they can continue to watch world-class snooker on free-to-air television.”
World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn says: “Our agreement with the BBC is one of the cornerstones of our sport, and we are delighted to extend it for an extra two years. These three major tournaments are much loved by the public – they are part of the fabric of British sport.
“The BBC’s coverage of the World Championship last year alone was watched by over 15 million people, proving how popular our sport is.
“The BBC and their production company IMG do a tremendous job in their coverage of snooker, and this new deal is fantastic news for the many millions of people throughout the UK who love watching it. Our Triple Crown tournaments are three of the highpoints of the sporting calendar, so fans will be thrilled that they will remain on terrestrial television.”