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View Full Version : Snooker -vs- 9-Ball and TV ratings?


Billy_Bob
04-04-2005, 09:08 AM
I bought a DVD called "History of Snooker".

This DVD has many clips of snooker matches which were televised in Europe. And they had record breaking numbers of people watching the recent matches. I guess like the superbowl in America.

They have non-billiard related businesses for sponsors as well. Big money for the players!

These games take forever to play, yet people stay glued to their TV sets. They want to see who wins - what is going to happen next.

I will say I was captivated by these games as well. Much more so than 9-ball, 8-ball, or 14.1. I think it was because the table was so big, and shooting a red, then having to leave position on a colored ball was very captivating. (It is very easy to see on TV where the reds are and where the colored ball are. With 9-ball, I can't easily see where the next ball is.)

Then at the end, them having to shoot in a colored ball and get position on the next colored ball. How will he ever manage to do it? There it goes, it makes the pocket, there goes the white ball rolling around the table. Is there too much speed? Still rolling... It stops in perfect position to get in the next colored ball. Amazing shot!

Is it the game [snooker] which gets the people to tune in?

Or is it that the people in Europe are different from the people in America? And no billiard game will ever get such high ratings in America...

TheOne
04-04-2005, 10:42 AM
I have raised this point a number of times when the "nay" sayers say that people don't want to watch pool on TV. Why then...

Do people from all walks of life (OAPs take there knitting to snooker matches for christ sake!) love to watch TV in the UK and europe (eurosport).

Why is 9 ball increasing in popularity on TV in the UK and europe?

Why is 9 ball on TV many many times per day in Asia (I have seen more 9 ball on TV during the last three months in Brunei,Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and the Phillipines than I did in 4 years in Australia.

Why do countries like Taiwan show it even more, even local leagues?

Snooker is also very popular in countries like Thailand (local small comps have been shown on TV here), China, HK etc...

I am begining to think its not the game, its the audience and maybe just americans don't like to watch it. People say (and often non-americans often scoff to be honest) that Americans like quick high scoring games like basketball and 9 ball, is this the reason why it is not shown as much in the USA and 9 ball is the fav game? Or is this not the reality and pool is shown a lot in the states? Or is it just that it is not beeing marketed as well as it should be in the states?

Personally I wholeheartedly beleive that snooker and 9 ball have proven beyond doubt that there is a very large market of people that want to watch it on TV - why then is pool in the state it is?

The first year I went to Vegas after a long absence out of the game a friend of mine saw a top Pro player leaving his room at a very very cheap budget hotel (dump). This shocked me and has stuck in my mind ever since. This guy is a star and idolised by millions, one of the best in the world at his sport which is watched by millions. Something is wrong, seriously wrong!

TheOne
04-04-2005, 10:53 AM
BTW bob, as buckster mentioned snooker has just held a ranking event in Beijing and are planning on holding more events overseas. A smart move indeed, especially with the new young local boy winning it, how many thousands of young chinese kids will be going out and trying to emulate there new hero? Interesting that snooker seems to be MASSIVE in china but I'm not sure that 9 ball has taken off quite as much - anyone know any top 9 ball players? Actually I don't recall seeing any on the San Miguel tour either but I may be wrong?

This is what I would love to see a world tour of ranking events, they don't have to be new, just pick the cream of what we already have and put some structure to it. Then maybe new ones can be added to emerging markets in the future. Ok for a bit of fun my 9 ball world wide GRAND SLAM / ranking events would be...

USA: BCA Open and US Open
Europe: Upcoming British Open and A EPBF Tour stop (rotated each year)
ASIA: Tokyo / Japan Open and WPC Taiwan

6 stops in some serious pool hotbeds with already established events. The IBC tour tried to setup a world tour but I think it is all but dead. I think it failed because they tried to create new events from scratch. BTW I would also like to add a Phillipine Open which I beleive they are working towards (even though it is currently only open to filipinos).

I'm sure if somebody could package these events into a "World Tour" or 9 Ball "Grand Slam" and give them a brand there would be a market out there for it?

"Wake up Craig, wake up!" Ugh "where am I?" :eek:

TheOne
04-04-2005, 11:59 AM
"but with an estimated television audience of 100m tuning in to the final and his win making front-page news in China, Ding looks to have little choice but to accept the burden."

Excellent article about the importance of Ding's victory in Chine, esp since this is the last year embassy can sponser the world championships.

100m viewers, ouch!

bruin70
04-04-2005, 12:32 PM
I ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,reds are and where the colored ball are. With 9-ball, I can't easily see where the next ball is.)
Amazing shot!

Is it the game [snooker] which gets the people to tune in?

Or is it that the people in Europe are different from the people in America? And no billiard game will ever get such high ratings in America...

pocket billiards is a small game in a big sport country. with hockey hanging on for dear life, the USA is now a three sport country. even track and field has no viewing audience.

added to the mix is the competition for the entertainment dollar,,,,and the lack of patience of the american mindset.

you see all kinds of "minor" sports thrive in other countries because, well,,,,,,,,it's all they have. how do you feed the american audience a diet of boring pool when it loves, football, basketball, and fearfactor?

bruin70
04-04-2005, 12:38 PM
I ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,saw a top Pro player leaving his room at a very very cheap budget hotel (dump). !

if' he's "idolized by millions", it can only be someone from taiwan or the phillipines.

if he was an american, he's idolized by a couple of thousand.

parvus1202
04-04-2005, 12:55 PM
I watch snooker here in the UK. I would have to say that it is a boring game. Why? Because the so called top players seldom take the risk of pocketing long shots. I watched Ding of China murdering Hendry, his winning line? Long shots!! He just never missses on those 8 ft. 9 ft. long shots which the Europians will never attempt. That's the reason I got bored watching it. Expectators will applaud for how far the player can take the cue ball from the object ball. And they take 10 to 15 min just taking tha cue ball up_ down, up_down the table.

ps: The only time I enjoyed watching snooker was when I saw Ding just pocketing those long shots nonstop. Hendry also did it quite a few times but he just can't match Ding. If you can get a tape, get it. It's worth it.

Just my opinion.

Buckster_uk
04-04-2005, 12:58 PM
pocket billiards is a small game in a big sport country. with hockey hanging on for dear life, the USA is now a three sport country. even track and field has no viewing audience.

added to the mix is the competition for the entertainment dollar,,,,and the lack of patience of the american mindset.

you see all kinds of "minor" sports thrive in other countries because, well,,,,,,,,it's all they have. how do you feed the american audience a diet of boring pool when it loves, football, basketball, and fearfactor?

I do not know if you mean't that we have no sports of our own over here or not, but by no means is Snooker our only sport. Soccer and Cricket are our biggest sports by far, followed closely by Rugby. Snooker has been around for a while now, mainly thanks to Pot Black, a show which catapulted Snooker into the main stream. If it is marketed right and shown to the correct audiences, then pool could become a huge sport in the States, but nothing is being done as far as I can see.

AuntyDan
04-04-2005, 01:52 PM
Quite right Buckster, and coming from the UK to the US one very noticable facet of US society is a level of insularity about their sports. I'd guess if you added up the numbers worldwide you'd find many millions more people both watch and participate in sports originating in the UK like Football ("Soccer" in the US), Snooker, Cricket and Rugby than participate worldwide in the major US sports of American Football, Basketball and Baseball. This is in large part due to the little Empire Britain used to have that allowed it to export arcane sports like Cricket to populous nations like India.

To me the pacing of Snooker is very much like Straight Pool, with players avoiding long difficult shots and breaking up the pack until they are in a sure position to make a long scoring run, and there is (almost) no interest in the US in televised Straight Pool anymore.

hobokenapa
04-04-2005, 02:17 PM
Is it the game [snooker] which gets the people to tune in?


Twenty years ago, over 20 million people in the UK stayed up past midnight to see Dennis Taylor beat Steve Davis 18-17 live on BBC to become the World Snooker Champion. It all came down to one frame (rack), and then a single ball. Taylor tried a double in the middle pocket (bank shot in the side) and it jawed out, but he left it safe. Davis played a great safety then Taylor goes for a heroic long bank missing by a mile. He leaves Davis a chance but he missed and Taylor then has a simple black for the world title.

It had everything. The drama, the excitement and the classic underdog against champion battle that Brits love. Taylor also lost the first eight frames, but we watched in incredularity as he came back against the seemingly invincible Davis. The last frame was the most suspenseful hour of TV I think I've ever seen.

There is nothing like LIVE TV. Forty minutes of highlights and twenty minutes of commericals just doesn't do it for me with the current 9-ball tour. Would Americans watch the Superbowl if it was showed as a one hour program in the middle of the day a month after the event?

I think the fast culture has something to do with it. I go to see the Yankees a few times a year, and 80% of the crowd have left before the end.

bruin70
04-04-2005, 02:46 PM
I do not know if you mean't that we have no sports of our own over here or not, but by no means is Snooker our only sport. Soccer and Cricket are our biggest sports by far, followed closely by Rugby. Snooker has been around for a while now, mainly thanks to Pot Black, a show which catapulted Snooker into the main stream. If it is marketed right and shown to the correct audiences, then pool could become a huge sport in the States, but nothing is being done as far as I can see.

didn't mean it in a pejorative way. just from a US perspective.

pool is a minor sport an all the ways that the mainstream US audience will not accept. as for how and who the game is targeted to,,,,,well, you hit the nail on the head. it is marketed badly and to the wrong audience----not good math!

Bobby
04-04-2005, 04:16 PM
I watch snooker here in the UK. I would have to say that it is a boring game. Why? Because the so called top players seldom take the risk of pocketing long shots. I watched Ding of China murdering Hendry, his winning line? Long shots!! He just never missses on those 8 ft. 9 ft. long shots which the Europians will never attempt. That's the reason I got bored watching it. Expectators will applaud for how far the player can take the cue ball from the object ball. And they take 10 to 15 min just taking tha cue ball up_ down, up_down the table.

ps: The only time I enjoyed watching snooker was when I saw Ding just pocketing those long shots nonstop. Hendry also did it quite a few times but he just can't match Ding. If you can get a tape, get it. It's worth it.

Just my opinion.


You don't think O'Sullivan goes for long shots? Or
Paul Hunter or Mark Williams? Mark Williams is well
known for coming to the table cold and making a very
long shot to get control of the table, he's probably
the best player at that sort of shot.

sjm
04-04-2005, 06:06 PM
Pool is one of countless sports choices on American television.

Tonght, for example, right now (9:02 PM) on television, I can watch any of the following:

The NCAA Basketball College Championship game
A baseball game
The Roundball classic, a high school all-star basketball game
Figure skating
A PBA Bowling tournament
A Manchester City English football game

At 11:00 NY time, I can watch the UPA championship, but by then I'll have met my daily quota of televisied sports. We Americans do have a lot of choices, making a televsied pool event far less noteworthy here than in other countires.