China can’t get enough snooker as governing body announces incredible viewing figures for World Championship finale
The snooker World Championship was watched by 210 million viewers on Chinese television World Snooker said on Wednesday
The snooker World Championship was watched by 210 million viewers on Chinese television, governing body World Snooker said on Wednesday.
The tournament finished on Monday when England’s Mark Selby won the title for a second time, beating China’s Ding Junhui 18-14 in the final.
Ding became the first Asian player to reach the final of the sport’s biggest tournament, and his success was closely followed by viewers in his homeland as record numbers of viewers tuned in across the 17 days of the event.
The afternoon session of the final was watched by over 42 million on Chinese state broadcaster CCTV5 on both Sunday and Monday, despite the time difference meaning coverage ran from after 9pm until well after midnight on both days.
These figures represented the highest sports audiences for post-prime time programming so far in 2016.
World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn identified the Chinese market as a key growth area for the sport in comments before the tournament began last month.
“Over the next 10-15 years, China will dominate most sports. The government are pouring money in,” said Hearn.
The total global audience for the tournament was over 300 million.
The BBC televised a total of 183 hours of snooker during the event, an increase of 36 hours on last year. The peak audience was 3.9 million, while the average live audience of 853,000 showed an increase of 14.8 per cent on 2015.