Eurosport have signed a lucrative 10-year deal to continue their television coverage of snooker across the globe.
World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn announced the deal on Thursday at the Betfred World Championship in Sheffield, alongside Eurosport chief executive officer Peter Hutton and IMG Media’s Adam Kelly.
Hearn said: “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.”
The agreement covers exclusive European rights to 18 Tour events, and will include the World Championship qualifiers, which this year were held at Ponds Forge, Sheffield.
It also includes rights to snooker’s Home Nations Series, to be held in October, Indian Open and the Paul Hunter Classic across 54 markets in Europe.
Eurosport’s Hutton added: “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.”