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World snooker agrees new TV deal with BBC

WORLD SNOOKER and the BBC have agreed a three-year contract extension that ensures the sport's major events will remain on terrestrial television until at least 2017.

The BBC will continue as host broadcaster of the World Championship, the UK Championship and the Masters until the end of the 2016-17 season under the terms of the new agreement.

The three major events on the calendar will be broadcast on television, online and via the BBC iPlayer, with the corporation committing to over 260 hours of coverage.

"This is wonderful news for the many millions of snooker fans throughout the UK who love watching the sport on the BBC," World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn said.

"Last year's 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."

Director of BBC Sport Barbara Slater added: "The World Snooker Championships are an important part of our sports rights portfolio and we're delighted to be continuing our coverage of these three major tournaments."

The news was also welcomed by players, with world number one and UK Champion Mark Selby adding: "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."

PA Media