Yesterday Barry Hearn made a major announcement:
Thursday 28 Apr 2016 03:30PM
Eurosport signs new 10-year agreement with World Snooker and IMG
• Eurosport, the Discovery-owned broadcaster, underlines its position as the Home of Snooker across Europe through coverage of all major snooker tournaments, including the World Snooker Championship, for the 2016/17 to 2025/26 seasons inclusive.
• The agreement is an extension of its exclusive European rights to 18 tournaments of the World Snooker Tour, in addition to World Ranking Event qualifiers including the World Snooker Championship Qualifiers in Sheffield.
• The deal includes exclusive TV and digital rights to the ‘Home Nations Series’ in Europe*
• Eurosport has also secured the rights for the Indian Open, Paul Hunter Classic, 6 Reds World Championship and the Shoot Out (excluding the UK)
Eurosport, World Snooker and IMG have today announced a 10-year extension of the TV and digital rights to show 18 tournaments of the World Snooker Tour on Eurosport and Eurosport Player, its live and on-demand digital service. The agreement strengthens Eurosport’s position as the home of snooker across Europe, allowing fans to follow the sport’s biggest and most exciting moments live.
The events will be shown exclusively on Eurosport in 54 markets across Europe*. In addition to the live action, fans will be able to enjoy insight from leading players and personalities within the game on special programming. There will also be enhanced match coverage on Eurosport Player, where fans will be able to choose which matches to watch from cameras covering multiple tables.
Speaking at a press conference at the World Snooker Championship, Peter Hutton, Chief Executive Officer at Eurosport said: “Snooker has some of sport’s most ardent fans and has been a major part of Eurosport’s programming since it was first broadcast on the channel in 2003. Eurosport has since been a strong partner to help grow the popularity of the sport across Europe, showcasing the best competitions, providing insightful expert commentary and exceptional new programming such as ‘The Ronnie O’Sullivan Show’.
“We see excellent viewing figures for snooker and we are delighted to announce that we will continue to share the best moments from the sport with fans across the continent for the next 10 years.”
World Snooker Chairman, Barry Hearn added: “This long term deal with Eurosport is a very significant moment for our sport. Eurosport has played a crucial role in the rapid growth of snooker across the continent over the past 13 years, making it one of the most popular and highest-rating sports in the region. The players are now travelling to many corners of the continent and seeing a new-found passion among fans who might not have even heard of snooker until they saw it on Eurosport. We’re excited about continuing this growth over the coming decade, staging new events in the UK and around Europe, and working alongside the Eurosport team in building ever stronger foundations.”
Adam Kelly, Head of Sales EMEA & Global Business Development Worldwide, SVP IMG Media, concluded: “We are pleased to have achieved our aim of ensuring both continued growth and increased awareness of the World Snooker Tour, through securing distribution with Eurosport on behalf of World Snooker. This extension will enable the sport to continue to benefit from the expansive coverage they offer across the region, both on their TV channels and digitally.”
The long-term, multiplatform agreement includes the exclusive coverage of the inaugural ‘Home Nations Series’ comprised of the Welsh Open, Scottish Open, Irish Open and English Open.
*In the UK, four of the tournaments will be shown, but not exclusively: the World Championship, Masters, UK Championship and Welsh Open. The rights to the Players Championship and the World Grand Prix do not include rights to the UK.
Eurosport, the Discovery-owned sports broadcaster, connects fans and athletes around the greatest sports events. Its channels, Eurosport 1, Eurosport 2 and Eurosportnews, reach 243 million cumulative subscribers across 99 countries in Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Eurosport.com is Europe’s No.1 online sports news website with up to 23 million visitors each month. Eurosport Player is an all-access pass to the greatest events on the calendar, available anytime and on any device in 52 countries. Eurosport Events specialises in the management and promotion of international sporting events. More information is available by visiting corporate.eurosport.com
IMG is a global leader in sports, events, media and fashion, operating in more than 25 countries. The company represents and manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is one of the largest independent producers and distributors of sports media. IMG also specializes in sports training; league development; and marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions. In 2014, IMG was acquired by WME, a leading global entertainment agency.