Fans will be able to watch the World Championship qualifiers on TV from next month – a first for snooker.
Coverage of one table will be streamed live and exclusive on Eurosport from July 21st – 28th as the World’s top professionals battle it out to reach the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.
Since the coronavirus pandemic started in February and the government announced a major lockdown on March 23rd, live sport has been off the air for at least 78 days.
However, with snooker already having led the way by being the first sport to welcome back players to their jobs at the Championship League in Milton Keynes a week or so ago, there has been much talk and debate about whether snooker’s Blue Ribbon event the World Championships would go ahead at all.
But the qualifiers, which have only ever been streamed online on Eurosport Player, will now be on both the Player and the TV.
Snooker boss Barry Hearn said; “The Betfred World Championship is a massive event and the qualifying rounds are very much a part of it.”
He added: “There is a wonderful sense of drama and anticipation as players battle for a place at the Crucible. Matches can make or break a season.”
This confirms, for now, depending on outside forces with Covid-19, that the World Championship is on for the moment.
Tour Championship Returns…
The news comes as tomorrow, snooker sees the return of its ranking event coverage with eight players on the one year list battling it out for a 150K first prize.
Judd Trump leads the field…
Back in March, World number one Judd Trump won his record sixth ranking title in Gibraltar, and will be leading the field with the likes of Neil Robertson, Mark Selby and John Higgins in Milton Keynes at the Marshall Arena.
Ronnie O’Sullivan did not qualify for the Tour Championship.
Once the Tour Championship has ended, the 16 seedings for the Crucible will be announced with the 16 players being exempt from the qualifiers and those at the qualifiers will battle it out to become the remaining 16 to play the top 16 at the Crucible.
Coverage of the Tour Championship will be on ITV 4 with the same set-up as at the Championship League.