Snooker’s one-frame Shoot Out event will be televised on Eurosport and its free-to-air sister channel Quest for the first time from 2019.
The world ranking tournament, which has been running since 2011, has a unique set of rules with matches lasting a maximum of ten minutes and a shot clock of 15 seconds for the first five minutes and ten seconds for the last five.
Live coverage of the event has now been incorporated into World Snooker’s long-term partnership with Eurosport and Quest, which runs until 2026.
Previously televised by ITV4 and Sky Sports, the Snooker Shoot Out now brings the total number of events broadcast by Eurosport in the UK to 17, with qualifying rounds and other events available on Eurosport Player.
The 2019 Shoot Out will run from 21-24 February at the Watford Colosseum with Eurosport and Quest as the host broadcaster for the first time.
The tournament features 128 players in a flat draw, each needing to win seven matches to take the title. Michael Georgiou captured the trophy for the first time in 2018, beating Graeme Dott in a dramatic final.
World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said:
“We are delighted to be working with Eurosport and Quest on the Shoot Out for the first time. We have established a fantastic partnership with them in recent years. Eurosport really is the Home of Snooker, broadcasting to 137 million homes in 54 countries. We have also seen incredible viewing figures on Quest since they first televised snooker in 2016.
“The Shoot Out is a wonderful event which has become one of the highlights of the season for fans who enjoy the fast and furious pace of play. The 2018 Shoot Out was the best I have ever seen, with so many matches going down to the last few seconds, including the final which was a great moment for Michael Georgiou. It’s a chance for up and coming players to make a name for themselves.
“I’m sure snooker fans will be thrilled that the Shoot Out will stay on the calendar and will be televised both on Eurosport and free-to-air on Quest.”
The agreement to broadcast the Shoot Out supplements Eurosport’s coverage of the snooker throughout the season. The pan-European broadcaster already screens in excess of 800 hours of live snooker action throughout the season.
TV coverage of the Shoot Out began on Sky Sports in 2011, before moving to ITV4 in 2016.
Eurosport and Quest already share live coverage of the Home Nations Series events and China Open. For the Home Nations events, the daytime session is simulcast on Eurosport and free-to-air Quest, with both channels airing also airing semi-finals and finals live.
Laurent Prud’homme, Senior Vice President Rights Acquisition and Syndication at Eurosport, said:
“The idea of making snooker quicker and more appealing to a wider viewership through the Shoot Out concept aligns neatly with our own objective to appeal to new and younger and audiences.
“We’re delighted to secure the rights to showcase the Shoot Out on Eurosport and Quest in the UK and are already looking forward to seeing the best players in the world go toe-to-toe – not only playing against esteemed opponents, but also playing against the clock.
“The agreement supplements Eurosport’s coverage of world-class snooker, where we already offer fans in excess of 800 hours of live action from around the world throughout the season.”
Despite dropping its coverage of the Shoot Out after three years, ITV4 has added an additional ranking event to its portfolio of live snooker events, with the inaugural Tour Championship event to be staged in March 2019.