Eurosport pockets live rights to 2020 Championship League
Eurosport, the Discovery-owned pan-European sports broadcaster, has secured exclusive live broadcast rights across almost all the continent for snooker's 2020 Championship League.
Eurosport will broadcast all the action from this year’s Championship League, which will take place from 1 to 11 June in Milton Keynes, UK, to over 50 countries, excluding the UK where commercial broadcaster ITV will show the action.
Eurosport has signed an agreement for the rights with Matchroom Multi Sport, a division of the tournament’s promoter which is headed up by Barry Hearn. Coverage will also be available on the broadcaster’s over-the-top platform, Eurosport Player.
The Championship League will be one of the first live televised sporting events to take place in the UK since the coronavirus pandemic caused a mass sporting lockdown earlier this year. The tournament will be held behind closed doors, with strict rules on social distancing and hygiene in place.
That date of 1 June is the first possible day on which the UK government has permitted sports events to take place behind closed doors.
The tournament, which will involve 64 players competing in 16 groups of four, will have at least 126 matches in total, with the Finals taking place on 11 June, and will feature a prize money sum of £218,000 ($266,000). The winner will take him £30,000.
Andrew Georgiou, president, Eurosport and global sports rights and sports marketing solutions, said: “We know people have been missing live sport, and through the Championship League we are aiming to leverage Discovery’s sport platforms to bring world-class snooker to millions of fans across the continent.
“We are proud to have a deep relationship with Matchroom and are delighted to be partnering with them once again.”
Matchroom Live, the promoter’s new over-the-top streaming platform, will broadcast the Championship League across the Americas, Asia (excluding China), Africa and New Zealand, for free.
The platform, which went live earlier this month, will also title sponsor the the tournament.
Fans across those aforementioned regions will be able to watch all matches from the tournament for no charge by registering for a Matchroom Live account.
In addition to live matches, fans in those areas can watch games in full, on demand, 24 hours after their conclusion.
Hearn said: “This is the first taster of what Matchroom.Live will provide year-round; live coverage of major sport from across our group in territories where the event isn’t otherwise being broadcast.
“It is thanks to our hard work and dedication that we are in a position for televised snooker action to return; the first major sporting event in the UK to do so.”
Matchroom Live, built and operated by StreamAMG, the provider of live video and OTT services, is showing archive content for free at present.
Live content, in addition to snooker, will come from across the Matchroom Sport portfolio - boxing, darts, pool, fishing, ping pong, golf, gymnastics, basketball, poker, netball and tenpin bowling.
Click here to read an exclusive Sportcal interview with Barry Hearn on his vision for Matchroom Live.