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The kings of the baize return to Eurosport screens when the blue riband event on the 2017 snooker calendar, the Betfred World Championship, heads to The Crucible Theatre later this month.
Beginning on Saturday 15 April, the Betfred World Championship features 32 of the world’s best players including the irrepressible five-time winner Ronnie O’Sullivan, ‘The Juddernaught’ Judd Trump and the reigning champion Mark Selby and will be broadcast exclusively across Europe (non-exclusive in the UK) on Eurosport.
The number one sports destination for fans will show over 135 hours of action across Eurosport 1, Eurosport 2 and Eurosport Player over 17 days of world-class competition with analysis from some of the brightest minds in the game. Eurosport has also released its promo which aired on its linear channels from 1 April and will be broadcast in the lead up to the World Snooker Championship.
The promo attempts to capture that beneath the calm and quiet atmosphere at a top-level snooker match there is an underlying intense psychological battle borne from fear and tension.
Six-time World Championship finalist Jimmy White, 1986 World Championship winner Joe Johnson and the legendary Neal Foulds will offer fans in-depth insights during the tournament in Sheffield, England.
Respected British broadcasters Colin Murray and Matt Smith will lead Eurosport’s coverage which will also feature of the most cutting-edge technology in the business to enhance the viewer experience.
Eurosport will use Viz Libero – Viz have designed a product specifically for Eurosport’s coverage of snooker – as well as touch screen technology.
Viz Libero technology will enable viewers to see how shots should be played on the baize with lines drawn across the screen while highlighting distances and speeds travelled of any ball. The touch screen technology will give Eurosport’s snooker experts the ability to move balls around the table.
As part of its build-up to the main World Snooker Championship event itself, Eurosport will also screen the qualification tournament on Eurosport Player while the main draw will be broadcast live on Eurosport’s Facebook page from 10am on Thursday, 13 April.
Supplementing Eurosport’s coverage during the World Snooker Championship will be a series of short-form features narrated by Ronnie O’Sullivan, who will give viewers a unique analysis on how to play against the top players in the world. On the 40th anniversary of the tournament being held at iconic Crucible Theatre, Eurosport will also speak to the world’s best players recalling some of their best memories from Sheffield.
Eurosport CEO Peter Hutton said: “Snooker’s fan base across Europe is growing year on year and we at Eurosport are thrilled to play our part in growing the game. The World Snooker Championship is the jewel in the crown of the sport and we are excited to be able to bring this to viewers on Eurosport once again.
“As we continue to do for all of our sports coverage, Eurosport will not only broadcast the world-class action but will have world-class talent analysing it too. With the likes of Mark Selby, Stuart Bingham and Ding Junhui jostling for the right to be called the number one player in the world, the World Snooker Championship will be an event not to miss.”
Eurosport snooker expert Jimmy White added: “Anyone who watches snooker is always glued to the World Championships. It always brings up some wonderful stories. There is always a lot of drama in snooker and it’s not like other sports where you can scream and shout, you have to be in control of your emotions and I think the public get on board with that.
“It’s the World Championship. In any sport, that is the ultimate blue-riband event. Everyone wants to be world champion. It’s so open this year, there are so many players that can win it. You have Ronnie O’Sullivan who isn’t one of the favourites, nor is Mark Selby, nor is Judd Trump. There are loads of people that can win the tournament.”
In partnership with World Snooker, Eurosport last year announced a 10-year agreement that will see the very best snooker tournaments broadcast live on its channels throughout the year up until 2026.
In 2017, Eurosport will show 17 tournaments – including The Masters and UK Championship - delivering around 800 hours of live action, cementing its position as the Home of Snooker in Europe.
*Non-exclusive in the United Kingdom