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donderdag 10 januari 2013

World Championship Snooker staying on BBC

The BBC will remain the primary UK broadcaster of snooker's biggest domestic tournaments until at least 2017, after extending its current deal with World Snooker.

The World Championship, the UK Championship and the Masters will continue to be shown on the BBC up to the end of the 2016/17 season.

Under the deal, there is also the option to add "one further event" after 2014. Financial terms were not disclosed.

All the three major snooker events will be given live network coverage on the BBC throughout the UK, and coverage will also be made available on BBC iPlayer.

World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said that the deal extension is "wonderful news" for the millions of snooker fans who enjoy watching the BBC's coverage.

He said that there was over 260 of coverage of snooker shown on the BBC last season, and the 2012 World Championship was watched by 28.5 million people, which "proves what a wide appeal there is for snooker".

"The World Championship, the UK Championship and the Masters are among the highlights of the sporting calendar so it's terrific that they will remain on terrestrial television," Hearn said.

"Snooker has made huge progress in recent years and is growing rapidly as a worldwide sport. The BBC remains one of our most important partners and we look forward to many years working with them."

World number one snooker player Mark Selby added: "Everyone's first memories of snooker are watching the big events on the BBC so it's great for the players and fans to know that those tournaments will remain on terrestrial TV for at least the next four years."

BBC Sport director Barbara Slater said that the World Snooker Championships are "an important part of our sports rights portfolio" and so she was "delighted" to extend the deal with World Snooker.