BBC Sport has agreed a deal to cover next month’s AJ Bell PSA World Squash Championship in Manchester.
Men’s squash’s premier annual event and the highlight of the PSA World Tour will take place at Manchester Central, the city’s former Manchester Central railway station, from October 26 to November 3.
The BBC agreement includes live coverage from the quarter-final stages onwards across the BBC’s range of digital platforms – Red Button, IPTV and the BBC Sport website.
Live coverage of the quarter final and semi-final action will be broadcast via the BBC Sport website and IPTV.
The final will be shown live on BBC Red Button, as well as available online via the BBC Sport website and Connected-TV devices.
There will also be a special highlights programme broadcast following the event on BBC Two and BBC Two HD, presented by Ore Oduba, on Tuesday, November 5.
In addition, all the news, updates, reviews and interviews throughout the tournament will be featured on the BBC Sport website.
The 2013 World Squash Championships will feature the sport’s leading players from countries including Great Britain – featuring British Title contenders Nick Matthew and James Willstrop – as well as Egypt, Australia, France, Germany, South Africa, Spain, Netherlands, Switzerland, India, Hong Kong, USA and many more.
PSA chief executive Alex Gough said: “In our bid to become an Olympic sport, PSA has been investing heavily in TV coverage of squash through SquashTV and to now have the BBC on board is obviously a major boost.”
BBC Sport’s ground-breaking TV deal comes just days before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) gathers in Buenos Aires to decide whether squash has been successful in its bid against wrestling and baseball/softball to be featured in the 2020 Olympic programme.
The AJ Bell World Squash Championship 2013 is part of an autumn sporting festival in Manchester thanks to investment from UK Sport’s Gold Event Series which aims to bring 70 world and European championships to Great Britain by 2019.
It also includes the UK’s first ever NBA game to be hosted outside of London, the UCI Track Cycling World Cup, the Rugby League World Cup, Super-league Grand Final and a first ever World Taekwondo Grand Prix.
Sheffield born Matthew is a twice winner of the World Championships while Ramy Ashour of Egypt is the defending champion.
Ashour, the world number one and unbeaten in 41 games since last year’s British Open, won his first world title when the event was last staged in Manchester five years ago.
Simon Morton, UK Sport Director of Major Events, said: “The huge exposure sports enjoy in the UK through spectators packing out the venues and hours of broadcast coverage is one of the key assets we have when bidding for events.
“Our appetite for great sport combined with thousands of experienced volunteers and a proven track record in hosting major events makes the UK a perfect host for world class sport.”
Councillor Rosa Battle, Manchester City Council executive member for culture and leisure, said: “Squash continues to grow in popularity and the decision by the BBC to cover the world championship will help raise the profile of both the sport and Manchester’s reputation an international sporting destination.
“The World Squash Championship is sure to be a thrilling weekend for sports fans and forms a vital part of Manchester’s packed autumn programme – that also features an NBA pre-season basketball game, the UCI Track Cycling World Cup, the Rugby League World Cup, Super-league Grand Final and the inaugural World Taekwondo Grand Prix.”
Broadcast details will be confirmed closer to the tournament start date.
Thursday 31st October
LIVE: 7.00pm-11.00pm BBC Sport Website
Delayed: 9.30pm-12.30am BBC Red Button
Friday 1st November
LIVE: 7.00pm-11.00pm BBC Sport Website
Delayed: 10.00pm-1.00am BBC Red Button
Saturday 2nd November
LIVE: 4.00pm-8.00pm BBC Sport Website
Delayed: 10.35pm-11.35pm BBC Red Button
Sunday 3rd November
LIVE: 5.30pm-7.30pm BBC Red Button
Tuesday 5th November
World Championship Squash Highlights
1.00pm-2.00pm BBC Two