The biggest names in snooker return to Coventry’s Ricoh Arena from November 3-9 as they aim to be crowned the year’s ultimate champion in the second staging of the Dafabet Champion of Champions, exclusively live on ITV4.
Following its successful debut on the World Snooker calendar 12 months ago, the event featuring 16 of the world’s best players, all of whom have won tournaments since last year’s event, returns to our screens with Ronnie O’Sullivan returning as its defending champion.
The six-day tournament takes place in the Jaguar Arena at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena and gets underway on Monday, November 3, with the tournament boasting a big-money prize fund of £270,000 pounds with £100,000 going to the winner on Sunday night.
Featuring all winners of World Snooker events over the preceding 12 months, with the field topped up from the current world rankings, the Champion of Champions is gives UK snooker fans another chance to see all the biggest names in the sport go face-to-face across a gruelling week of competition.
Marking the welcome return of world class snooker to ITV screens a year ago, 16 of the world’s top players competed to be crowned the inaugural Champion of Champions in 2013, with the then recently crowned five-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan defeating Stuart Bingham 10-8 in a tense final showdown.
Both players will be back to compete in the year’s tournament, alongside UK Championship winner Neil Robertson, the exciting Chinese player Ding Junhui, who has won the German Masters and the China Open this season, Championship League winner Judd Trump and the 2014 world snooker champion Mark Selby.
The unique format of the Champion of Champions event sees the 16-man field split into a four groups, consisting of four players each, with each group playing its matches across a single day.
All four players in each group are involved in the opening afternoon session during the week as they play in the group semi-finals over the best of seven frames, with the winners of both matches meeting later in the evening to play the group final over the best of 11 frames.
The winners of each of the four groups go through to the main semi-finals on Saturday, with the showpiece best of 19-frame final taking place across two sessions on Sunday, November 9.
Proceedings get underway on Monday, November 3, with Chinese snooker superstar Ding Junhui heading up the opening group, with Tuesday’s group being led by world champion Mark Selby, while defending Champion of Champions winner Ronnie O’Sullivan stars on Wednesday.
After a day off on Thursday, the tournament resumes on Friday with the final group which features reigning UK Champion and former world champion Neil Robertson.
With most of the field competing in the International Championship in Chengdu, which ends the day before the Champion of Champions commences, the remaining players will be allocated to groups as they are eliminated from the tournament in China.
Considered a huge success in its debut year, the Champion of Champions is set to provide UK fans with another sensational week of top class snooker as a truly world class line-up compete for the £100,000 prize.
Barry Hearn, chairman of Matchroom Sport, promoters of the event, commented: “The Dafabet Champion of Champions is the best of the best and fans at the Ricoh Arena and those watching on ITV4 will be guaranteed world class snooker from start to finish.
“The venue is superb and the format proved very popular last year. Looking ahead, the field is very open such is the quality but it would take a brave man to back against defending champ Ronnie O’Sullivan!”
Sixteen snooker champions will compete in Coventry this week but there can only be one Champion of Champions and you can watch all the slow-burning tension throughout the week, live and for free on ITV4.
ITV Sport will screen comprehensive live coverage of the second staging of snooker’s Dafabet Champion of Champions from Coventry’s Ricoh Arena on November 3-9.
Sixteen of the sport’s biggest names and greatest champions will compete over the six-day event to be crowned the year’s ultimate ‘Champion of Champions’ and ITV4 will screen every shot from every match during the week, which totals up to more than 50 hours of coverage.
Jill Douglas returns to present ITV4’s coverage of the tournament, which will also be shown in high-definition on ITV4 HD, where she will again be joined for expert analysis by former world number three Neal Foulds and former Masters winner Alan McManus.
Commentary on every match during the week comes from veteran snooker broadcaster Clive Everton, with either Foulds or McManus alongside him in the booth.
Coverage of each afternoon session will get underway at 12.45pm from Monday to Friday, followed by the evening sessions at 6.45pm, with the event drawing to an exciting climax on Sunday, November 9, when the two remaining players compete for the trophy across the two-session best-of-19 frame final, all live on ITV4.
Due to ITV4’s Europa League football coverage on Thursday evening, no play has been scheduled at the snooker, so the final round of group fixtures will take place on Friday, with the semi-finals following on Saturday and each split across the two sessions.
Fans can also watch every moment from the tournament at the Ricoh Arena throughout the week online via ITV Player desktop or app, available on all devices.
Ranking-event Snooker returned to ITV for the first time in two-decades in early 2013 when ITV4 screened live coverage of the Haikou World Open, which was then followed by the inaugural invitational Champion of Champions event.
Commenting on ITV’s coverage of the inaugural event, Matchroom Sport chairman Barry Hearn said: “The first year of the Champion of Champions was an unqualified success, and we are thrilled to be bringing the tournament back to ITV4 and the people of Coventry this year.
“ITV produced a fantastic show in 2013, and I am very pleased they will once again bring this top new tournament to free-to-air television in November.”
Alongside the Coventry-based event, another major snooker tournament will be broadcast live on ITV Sport later this season, as part of the channel’s five-year deal to screen two top World Snooker events.
A new tournament called the World Grand Prix, which will be staged in Llandudno, Wales, with a prize fund of £300,000, will be shown by ITV4 in March.
Monday 3rd November DAY 1: Group 4 – Semi Finals (Best of 7 frames) Ding Junhui 4-2 Dominic Dale
Barry Hawkins 4-1 John Higgins LIVE: 12.45pm-5.15pm ITV4 DAY 1: Group 4 – Final (Best of 11 Frames) Ding Junhui 6-5 Barry Hawkins LIVE: 6.45pm-11.15pm ITV4
Tuesday 4th November DAY 2: Group 2 – Semi Finals (Best of 7 frames) Mark Selby 4-1 Steve Davis
Judd Trump 4-1 Stephen Maguire LIVE: 12.45pm-5.10pm ITV4
DAY 2: Group 2 – Final (Best of 11 Frames
Mark Selby 1-6 Judd Trump
LIVE: 6.45pm-11.15pm ITV4
Wednesday 5th November DAY 3: Group 1 – Semi Final (Best of 7 frames) Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-2 Stuart Bingham Shaun Murphy 1-4 Marco Fu LIVE: 12.45pm-5.10pm ITV4 DAY 3: Group 1 – Final (Best of 11 Frames) Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-0 Marco Fu LIVE: 6.45pm-11.10pm ITV4
Friday 7th November DAY 4: Group 3 – Semi Finals (Best of 7 frames) Neil Robertson v Ali Carter Ricky Walden v Mark Allen LIVE: 12.45pm-5.15pm ITV4 DAY 4: Group 3 – Final (Best of 11 Frames) Robertson/Carter v Walden/Allen LIVE: 6.45pm-11.15pm ITV4
Saturday 8th November Semi Final 1 (Best of 11 frames) Ronnie O’Sullivan v Ding Junhui LIVE: 12.45pm-5.15pm ITV4 Semi Final 2 (Best of 11 frames) Judd Trump v Robertson/Carter/Walden/Allen LIVE: 6.45pm-11.15pm ITV4
Sunday 9th November Champion of Champions Final (Best of 19 frames) LIVE: 12.45pm-5.15pm / 6.45pm-11.15pm ITV4